Local

How a Myrtle Beach vacationer rescued 'Jack' the sea turtle from 'death's door'

Authorities come to aid of injured sea turtle in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach police and the Myrtle Beach Fire Department are working to get aid for a large sea turtle that came ashore in Myrtle Beach between 65th and 66th avenues north on Friday evening.
Up Next
Myrtle Beach police and the Myrtle Beach Fire Department are working to get aid for a large sea turtle that came ashore in Myrtle Beach between 65th and 66th avenues north on Friday evening.

Clinton Deane just might have saved Jack the sea turtle's life.

While swimming in the ocean with his kids between 65th Avenue North Friday afternoon, the vacationing Maryland resident noticed a large Loggerhead Sea Turtle floundering as it struggled through the waves.

Believing that the turtle likely wasn't going to survive the situation, Deane ushered it to shore, where Myrtle Beach fire and police watched over it until members of the South Carolina United Sea Turtle Enthusiasts arrived to take it Charleston.

"It wasn't going to make it out there, so hopefully it will make it here," said Deane, whose daughter named the turtle "Jack" following the rescue.

0629seaturtle-15
A large Loggerhead Sea Turtle sits on the shore between 65th and 66th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach rescuers and the South Carolina United Sea Turtle Enthusiasts tried to save the Sea Turtle with Debilitated Turtle Syndrome Friday. It was taken to the Sea Turtle Care Center at the South Carolina Aquarium. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

Around 5 p.m. lifeguards noticed a commotion and a group gathering at the ocean's fringe.

"We saw a group of people around what looked like a dark spot, basically," said Skyler Nuelle, who's been a lifeguard for about a month. "We just wanted to stop and check it out and see what it was and when we went over we saw it was an injured sea turtle."

Authorities were notified and Myrtle Beach police and Myrtle Beach Fire Department personnel were the first on scene.

0629seaturtle-28
A large Loggerhead Sea Turtle sits on the shore between 65th and 66th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach rescuers and the South Carolina United Sea Turtle Enthusiasts tried to save the Sea Turtle with Debilitated Turtle Syndrome Friday. It was taken to the Sea Turtle Care Center at the South Carolina Aquarium. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

According to bystander and Myrtle Beach resident Alexis Elliott, the sea turtle was in bad shape.

"The poor little guy, he doesn't even have one of his back legs and one of his front fins is jacked up," she said.

"It sucks. It's obviously in really bad shape," said Deane, who said he lived here for six years from 1999-2005.

But the actions of Deane and Co. at least gave the sea turtle a better chance than if they had done nothing.

0629seaturtle-17
A large Loggerhead Sea Turtle sits on the shore between 65th and 66th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach rescuers and the South Carolina United Sea Turtle Enthusiasts tried to save the Sea Turtle with Debilitated Turtle Syndrome Friday. It was taken to the Sea Turtle Care Center at the South Carolina Aquarium. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

Jeffery McLary, founder of the South Carolina United Sea Turtle Enthusiasts, also known as SCUTE, said two volunteers were taking Jack the turtle to the Sea Turtle Hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.

Jack was suffering from Debilitated Turtle Syndrome, or DTS.

"We don't know what causes it," McClary said.

The turtle had been floundering out in the ocean before Deane brought it in, and McClary said that extra help gave the turtle a better chance at survival.

"They're normally on death's door," he said, adding that photos of the turtle showed clear eyes, a good sign.

A little after 7:30 p.m., the SCUTE volunteer loaded up Jack and began the drive to Charleston.

  Comments