Turtle rescue

Turtle rescue drama on Emperor Atoll

Time on an Emperor Divers liveaboard is not all about the diving. There is the on-boat experience, the camaraderie with your fellow guests and the chance to get right-up close to nature. Sometimes, as Emperor boat manager and PADI course director Bryony Roberts explains, a little closer than anyone expected.

“As divers on Emperor Atoll were settling into the first evening of their Best of the Maldives trip at Vaavu Atoll last month, there was the usual chatter of excitement as everyone looked back over the opening day.

“As the sunset ‘Happy Hour’ came to an end, dinner out on the bow was filled with laughter, stories and sharing of all the day’s pictures and videos.

“The day was slowly wrapping up and, after being blessed with gorgeous sunny weather, blue skies and flat seas; the night crept in.
“Suddenly there was a commotion and, over the excited chatter of divers, shouts of ‘Turtles! … Kahanbu!

“Within seconds, every single guest and crew member was on the bow to find out what was happening. To the amazement of us all, right there caught up on our mooring line was a large mass of nets and rubbish. Dive torches on the go, it was then visible there were turtles caught up in the nets.

Turtles caught in nets

“Just as if everything was well briefed and planned, it suddenly became straight into action! Divers and crew came out to the dinghy and torchlight from the bow revealed four trapped turtles.

“The ropes and nets were untangled and all four turtles lifted safely aboard the dinghy. Then it was ‘hands-on’ with all ready to step into action as the dinghy approached the stern.

Turtle rescue

Turtle rescue

“Moored up, the dinghy quickly became a mass of teamwork with dive knives and line cutters used to free the turtles as soon as possible.
“Then, one by one, each turtle was released into the ocean after checking them over. Once the last turtle swam off freely into the depths, loud cheers filled the night sky and to say that just a few tears of joy were shed would be an understatement.

“To marine life the ocean is home. But ask any diving enthusiast, they will agree and call the ocean their home, too. Every effort counts, be it clean-ups on a beach, underwater or spreading awareness – #thereisnoplanetb #bethechange.”

Turtle rescue

Turtle rescue

Turtle rescue

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