Picture Crush from Finding Nemo. Now picture Crush tied up in 1,800 pounds of drugs.
That scenario essentially became reality this week, as the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a large sea turtle in the Eastern Pacific that was trapped—she was tangled up in 26 bales of drugs. The crew has grown accustomed to finding bales of cocaine floating on the ocean, but there usually aren’t sea turtles tied up in them.
In total, the crew recovered more than 1,800 pounds of cocaine. That’s a value of over $53 million.
A military plane spotted the debris field from above. The boat crew, arriving on the scene, immediately noticed the entangled sea turtle, according to Coast Guard Ensign Mark Krebs. The turtle was in a tough situation—her neck and flippers were chaffing from the lines.
“There were some marks on her neck, so she may have been there a day or two,” said Commander Jose Diaz.
The crew, using scissors, carefully cut off the lines that were wrapped around the sea turtle. They also recovered more than 75 feet of line to ensure other sea creatures wouldn’t find themselves entangled.