Turtle hit and killed but QPWS says no offence committed
UPDATE: Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service says no offence was committed after a vessel, believed to be a speedboat, reportedly hit and injured a 100-year-old turtle.
A QPWS spokesperson said incidents such as these were rare.
The skipper of a local charter vessel reported the injured animal, including its injuries, location and the circumstances of the incident.
The report suggested that two speed boats were in the vicinity of the turtle and that the injuries were consistent with a boat strike. QPWS would like to thank all those involved in providing rescue and care for the animal.
Information received indicates that there has been no offence committed.
Thankfully, these incidents do not happen very often and boaties are to be praised for their compliance with go slow regulations.
The turtle was removed from the water by the charter boat skipper and taken to a vet in Maryborough by local wildlife carers for assessment.
Sadly, the turtle had to be euthanised due to its injuries.
EARLIER: A 100-YEAR-OLD turtle believed to have been struck by a speed boat off the coast of Hervey Bay, has sadly died after a mammoth rescue effort from the community.
The crew from Blue Dolphin Marine Tours Hervey Bay was heading back from Big Woody Island on Anzac Day when they spotted the old lady of the sea struggling to swim in the distance.
Blue Dolphin Tours skipper Peter Lynch said they had just left a pod of dolphins at the island about 1pm and were returning to the marina when they saw the turtle pop up for air a second time, but in a strange way.
"She wasn't swimming right and usually they duck away, but when she popped up again we could see her floundering," he said.
Mr Lynch started to slow the boat down which is when he saw the turtle slowly swimming towards them.
Video footage showed the crew on board - including three young German tourists and Cassie, a dedicated crew member -helping the turtle onto the platform at waterline.
Mr Lynch said it wasn't an easy job.
"She was about 100 kilograms... it was a huge effort and we're glad we were able to give her more of a loving and caring end to her life," he said.
"The list of injuries (including head, shell and left eye) to her was extensive and she would have had a very painful death if left," he said.
But this was just the start of the turtle's slow journey to help.
They headed to the marina where a team from Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast were waiting to collect it.
"We had to get the turtle from the boat onto a trolley and up a 100m ramp before getting her into the wildlife vehicle."
Mr Lynch said he couldn't speak highly enough of the guests on board who stayed with them until the end of the rescue mission and gave his thanks to the team at Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast.
Mr Lynch said his biggest concern was while boaties loved the outdoor lifestyle, it was important to take more care while on the water.
The turtle was assessed locally by both experienced Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast volunteers and a local veterinary clinic, along with extensive consultation with wildlife vets at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. Its injuries were not viable for repair or recovery and she euthanised on Tuesday afternoon.
To report marine animal strandings* call the RSPCA Qld on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).
A Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) officer in the relevant region will be contacted with your information and will determine the appropriate response. QPWS will not be able to attend to all reported cases.
*marine animal strandings of sick, injured or dead turtles, dolphin, dugongs or whales
The person taking your call will require the following information:
1. Location (GPS coordinates if possible)
2. A description of what is wrong with the animal (e.g. stranded on beach, injuries, entangled in a net, injured)
3. A description of the animal (type of animal-dugong, turtle, whale, dolphin; condition; size and any identifying tags)
4. Photos (if available)
5. Your contact details.