Four stranded juvenile loggerhead sea turtles who have been receiving rehabilitation treatment at Newquay’s aquarium are returning home.

Blue Reef Aquarium is ready to release the turtkles back into warmner waters near the Canary Islands.

The first turtle was found on Perranporth beach on Friday, January 13 2023.

Two more juvenile loggerheads were brought to the aquarium by volunteers from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue on February 3, 2023.

One was found at Widemouth Bay in Bude and the other was discovered at Perranporth Beach.

The fourth loggerhead turtle was found at Hayle Beach on November 10 2023.

The same Loggerhead Sea Turtle, in transport box ready ready for release back near the Canary Isles (Blue Reef Aquarium)

Blue Reef Aquarium’s general manager Steve Matchett said: “These turtles are washed up in an extremely weakened state called cold stunned and are very often dehydrated. 

“They are from warm waters and get taken off course by storms when following warm Atlantic currents.  

“We have followed an established procedure to return them to full health and get them ready for release back into warmer waters, near the Canary Isles.”

Lara Heaney the aquarium’s assistant curator explained: “Over the time the turtles have been under our care, they have steadily gained strength and grown very quickly, with some of them leaving us now at nearly six times their original stranding weight”

The Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay has rehabilitated and released several sea turtles over the years, and even have a permanent resident at the Aquarium, a blind loggerhead sea turtle called Omiros. 

The Aquarium is now making plans to expand their turtle rescue facilities to be able to help rehabilitate even more stranded turtles in the South West in the future.

It is very important that any turtles washed up are not put back into the sea, as they will die as UK waters are too cold.

What to do if you find a stranded turtle*: · Do not attempt to put the turtle back into the sea · Wrap in a towel soaked in seawater, don’t cover nostrils · Place in a secure place on its belly and do not attempt to warm the animal up, keep it at the same temperature you found it · If inactive, raise the back end of the shell so the turtle is resting at approximately 30° to drain lungs · Contact the British Divers Marine Life Rescue 24hr hotline on 01825 765546 *These rules do not apply to leatherback turtles which can be carefully re-floated if uninjured. Please check with an expert first.