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Turtles launch out to sea

By Ellen Bacca
Published On: Dec 27 2012 05:26:42 PM CST
Carteret County -

After months of rehabilitation, eight sea turtles went aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Block Island to be released in the Gulf Stream.

Two of the turtles weighed over 50 lbs. Each were unique, one missing a flipper, one a brand new hatchling. All of them came from different rehabilitation stations across the east coast, including the local Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium.

Sea turtles will be released as one large group into the Gulf Stream where waters are still a balmy 72 degrees.

"The reason we'e gotta take the turtles out to the gulf Stream is because sea turtles have to be in warmer water to function properly, that's why they migrate," said Lt. Jr. Grade Operations officer Paul Junhans.

Each turtle has been tagged with a small metal identification tag. These tags will make it easy to identify turtles when they come onshore during future migrations.