A turtle called Nemo has been rescued after being discovered drifting helplessly off the south west coast of Wales.

Nemo the Turtle

The large female loggerhead turtle, which measures more than 70cm in length and weighs over 20kg, was spotted floating head down by Dave and Mike Tonge of Gower Coast Adventures at the weekend [4th August 2008].

Mike and Dave and their passengers managed to haul the stricken turtle on board his rigid hulled inflatable boat and take it back to Port Eynon.

On arrival he notified the RSPCA and the turtle was then transported to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, Cornwall with the help of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

Nemo is the 26th loggerhead turtle to be recorded in UK waters this year and the fourth to be looked after at the aquarium.

Blue Reef Aquarium curator Matt Slater said: "Nemo came into us covered in algae and seaweed and is missing one of her front flippers, the other has also sustained damage.

"However both injuries appear to be old as they have healed cleanly and may be as a result of an encounter with a shark or other large predator at some point in the past.

"Despite all this she actually appears to be in relatively good health and is already eating which is a positive sign," he added.

After spending two weeks in the Blue Reef quarantine unit with Flash, a smaller turtle that was also rescued in Wales last month, Nemo has now been moved to the aquarium's large Ocean Display to allow her more room to exercise and build up lost muscle mass.

Aquarists continue to monitor her progress and administer necessary treatments to aid her recovery.

Two others, James and Dink were flown out to the Canary Islands and released back into the wild earlier this year.

"Thanks to the actions of Mike, his passengers, the RSPCA and the BDMLR, Nemo is now recovering and will hopefully go on to make a full recovery," added Matt.

Experts say live stranded turtles should be reported to the RSPCA on 08705  555 999 and all turtle sighting and strandings should be reported to Marine Environmental Monitoring on 01348 875 000.

Article reproduced by kind permission of Blue Reef Aquarium