Tired but ready to start our 3rd day of diving we walked along the beautiful empty beach of Holga. This is smallest of the Wakatobi islands in South Suluwesi, Indonesia.
I was trailing behind the rest of the group, when I noticed everyone had stopped.
What was it?
Once I had caught up I saw that they were crouching on the ground around a small turtle. A pile of seaweed and rubbish was covering the poor animal. It could not move due to a fishing net wrapped around its neck and flippers.
The turtle probably surfaced to take a breath and got entangled. It could have floated around the ocean for days trapped before washing up on the beach.
Working together we managed to cut the turtle free of the net and return it to the deeper water at the end of the jetty. This turtle was lucky that we were there to save it, but not all turtles are as lucky. Many turtles get trapped in fishing nets and other ocean rubbish, often under the water, stopping them from swimming to the surface for air, and they drown.