Hero wind surfer rescues shell shocked turtle from certain death
These turtle-y awesome images show the moment a world champion surfer used his impressive surfing skills to rescue a turtle from certain death.
After noticing the creature had become tangled in plastic packaging, professional kite surfer, Mitu Monteiro, 31, began to soar through the choppy waves in a heroic rescue attempt.
The local surfer then managed to haul the shell shocked female onto his surfboard before sailing back to shoreline of Serra Negra Beach on Sal Island, Cape Verde, Africa.
Upon closer inspection, it became evident that the neck and fin of the huge caretta turtle were entwined painfully in the frayed edges of a plastic sack, restricting its breathing and preventing it from swimming free.
Mitu said: “After an hour riding I suddenly noticed something floating in the water.
“Usually I tell people never to go that close to the rocks as it can be dangerous but I couldn’t resist finding out what it was.
“I have to admit I was kind of scared getting close up because a few days before a boat with two fisherman had disappeared and they were still searching for the bodies.
“Anyway, I plucked up the courage and I discovered it was a turtle struggling in the water.
“I know it would have died if I didn’t rescue it, she was unable to get food as the filament was preventing her from diving and it was wound tightly around her neck.
“I was afraid of cutting the plastic because it was embedded so deeply into its skin but what worried me the most was its flipper, it was covered in a white substance and smelt bad.
“I started to think they would have to amputate the flipper.
Luckily, Mitu’s friends caught wind of the emergency situation and rushed to help, including that of Italian photographer, Gabriele Rumbolo, 36, who managed to catch the remarkable sea rescue on camera.
By carefully cutting away at the plastic that was wrapped around its neck, Mitu and his friends managed to unravel the turtle from the binding before calling the animal rescue service.
Despite fears that the turtle’s flipper may have to be amputated, the gentle creature is now on the road to recovery.
Photographer, Gabriele, said: “The turtle was lucky to be rescued, this is a beach with nothing around, no sandy beaches and no bars.
“I was photographing Mitu but I found it difficult to work out what was happening at first.
“This was an amazing moment, it is not every day that you get to see something like this happen.
“It was actually Cape Verde’s National Heroes Day when it happened, Mitu became my hero that day.”