Boat Propellers Likely Cause in Increased Sea Turtle Deaths

June 12, 2018, 11:12 am EST | Share:

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, SC (WTAT-TV) — Wildlife experts in the Lowcountry are urging boaters to slow down following an increase in sea turtle injuries.

Island Turtle Team volunteers were called out to Sullivan’s Island over the weekend after an injured turtle was found on the beach.

Team members say a boat’s propeller was the likely culprit.

“They don’t realize the sound of a propeller. They just come up to breathe and just as they do, they get banged,” said Barb Gobein. “Usually we find them with three or four boat strikes to the back of them.”

Experts say 17 turtles have been injured so far this year. Some of them were found in netting while others were already dead.

If you see an injured turtle on the beach stay away from it and call the Department of Natural Resources.