Cornwall

Lostwithiel family saves turtle from plastic sack death

Turtle
Image caption The turtle was freed from the plastic sack after being spotted by the family in the water

A family sailing round the world saved a turtle stranded in a plastic sack.

The Redheads, from Lostwithiel in Cornwall, were sailing from Gran Canaria when they saw the stricken animal in the water.

"It had cut its fins so we think it had been like that for quite a while," said Amelia Luck who is travelling with the family.

She said that there was "plastic everywhere" as they sailed to Cape Verde.

Hundreds of marine turtles die every year after becoming entangled in rubbish in the oceans and on beaches, according to researchers at the University of Exeter, while another study has suggested that ingesting even a single piece of plastic can be deadly for sea turtles.

Image caption The turtle was trapped in the plastic sack

The Redheads, parents Dave and Tor and their four children, are on a two-year sailing trip around the world.

They set off from Fowey in Cornwall in their 63ft ketch last September and were on the Atlantic leg from Gran Canaria to Cape Verde when they spotted the turtle.

Image copyright Family picture
Image caption The Redhead family are sailing around the world for two years

Ms Luck said: "We saw loads of turtles and dolphins and came across this one turtle that we thought was eating jellyfish.

"But when we got closer realised it was wrapped in a plastic sack.

"It couldn't dive so we had to help it."

The family hauled the turtle aboard and cut it free before releasing it.

She said: "It was amazing, but it was a very lucky turtle. You can't help but notice all the plastic everywhere. It's really bad."

More on this story