Turtles in transit from the Northeast to Florida, where they'll be released

PENDER COUNTY --  Helping sea turtles in trouble is nothing new for the staff of the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City.

So when volunteers transporting some rescued turtles from the Northeast to Florida needed a place to let their passengers stretch their proverbial flippers, it was only natural for the Pender County facility to offer some beds and tanks.

New Jersey-based Sea Turtle Recovery is transporting 13 turtles from New Jersey and New England to Florida. The turtles, including a loggerhead and some tiny Kemp's ridley sea turtles, were cold-stunned and have since recovered. Surf City hospital director Jean Beasley said the pit stop allows the turtles' human chaperones to get some rest during the day before an overnight journey toward the 70-degree waters of Florida.

"It is really important and a priority to get these turtles in a good spot and healthy and to get them returned to the wild. It’s a good thing for their population recovery," she said. "Our turtles are happy to offer a helping flipper."

Contact the Metro desk at 910-343-2384 or Breakingnews@StarNewsOnline.com.