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Thread: Green sea turtle swims underwater for first time in 11 years

  1. #1
    Registered Users greenturtle's Avatar
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    May 2008

    Default Green sea turtle swims underwater for first time in 11 years

    By Mark Duell

    PUBLISHED: 22:28 GMT, 19 May 2013

    Green sea turtle swims underwater for first time in 11 years thanks to world's first dive belt built for endangered sea creatures

    A green sea turtle was today enjoying a new lease of life thanks to the world's first dive belt built exclusively for endangered sea creatures.

    Ali has managed to dive properly for the first time in 11 years, since she was hit by a boat which left an air bubble under her shell, stopping her from submerging and causing her to float bottom up.

    The metre-long turtle, who weighs more than 10 stone, had found herself stranded on the surface.

    Now a team at Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park in Dorset have created a pioneering belt with 2.5lbs of removable lead weights that works just like those used by scuba divers.

    The new invention is believed to be the first of its kind - and means Ali, named after boxer Muhammad Ali, can dive again.

    Fiona Smith, curator at the Sea Life park, said: ‘The common thing to do is to stick weights to injured turtles' shells to allow them to dive.

    'But where Ali's shell was in slightly worse condition because of her accident it wasn't that easy.

    ‘My team and I started thinking about how else we could attach the weights, and came up with the idea of a harness.

    ‘We took the idea to a nearby dive shop and they came back to us with a custom-built dive belt we could slip weights into. It needs a few tweaks but otherwise it is ideal.

    It will take a little time for Ali to get used to wearing her new jacket but eventually we see her wearing it all the time. Poor Ali used to float like a butterfly and swim like a bee.

    ‘But this new invention will make life so much better for her. If the belt is successful it could pave the way for the other turtles.’

    Ali's giant shell was split open by an engine propeller and she was left for dead after being hit by a boat in her native Palm Beach in Florida.

    Luckily she was rescued and nursed back to health at a special hospital for turtles - but when her injuries eventually healed an air pocket was left under the shell giving her unwanted buoyancy.

    Thought to be 15 to 20 years old, Ali was one of five hospitalised green turtles transferred to Weymouth to ease numbers.

    All five had weights glued to their shells to help them dive but her shell was so badly damaged the weights wouldn't stick, prompting work to start on the special belt.

    A protected endangered species, green turtles breathe oxygen but spend most of their lives under the water feeding and sleeping.

    They can dive for up to five minutes and sleep underwater for more than an hour. In the wild, green turtles – known as chelonia mydas - can live for more than 80 years
    "And God created great sea-animals, and every living soul that creeps with which the waters swarmed after their kind..." (MKJV) Gen 1:21

  2. #2
    SMN Publisher The Publisher's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    I wonder why they can't remove the air pocket....
    SMN Publisher

  3. #3
    Registered Users jadeangel's Avatar
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    Aug 2013


    This is really entertaining, I love the news. On the contrary, as much as I love this article, I also like the news posted in an article recently. Former Arizona State Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her spouse, previous astronaut Mark Kelly, have introduced a gun control effort that seeks to accept the powerful gun lobby and challenge today's gun laws, which the couple believes are too lenient.

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