As soon as we saw the turtles floating up in the mangroves, we stopped hunting and started pulling them out of the water,” said Capt. Jeff Kraynik of Palm Bay, owner of Coastal Sportsman guide service and leader of the party.
After receiving approval from authorities, they worked for several hours transporting six live turtles and two dead ones to a boat ramp where officials were collecting the reptiles.
Kraynik’s party was among the duck hunters, fishermen, marine officers, airboaters and dozens of volunteers from multiple agencies and organizations taking part in the largest sea turtle rescue in Florida’s history. It lasted for 10 days from Jan. 4 through last Thursday.
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