School Holiday Turtle Rescue

School Holiday Turtle Rescue

Deep under the ocean, a beautiful coral reef starring a green turtle. Fish swimming in the background.

School Holidays Turtle Rescue

On the way home from a full day Paradise Tour last week, we noticed a turtle floating just a few meters from the shoreline near Eurimbula National Park. This would normally be an exciting sighting for us and our guests. But we knew that this was not an ideal situation for the turtle.

This subadult Green Turtle had already been spotted multiple times over the school holidays, floating on the surface unable to dive down through the water. This condition is known as ‘floating syndrome’

Floating syndrome occurs when a turtle’s gut becomes paralysed, preventing it from being able to digest food. Instead, the food decomposes, releasing gases that gets caught in the body cavity and causes the animal to float.

This condition can occur because of a parasite infection or from swallowing marine debris like plastic bags or balloons.

Because a turtle with float syndrome cannot dive underwater, they’re often attacked by other animals, hit by boats, severely sunburnt or otherwise starve to death as they cannot hunt for food.

What happened next

First things first….. upon arrival at the Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Center our turtle which we had named on tour as Sofia….. got renamed to Geordie. A local school had done some fundraising for the center and were asked to name the next turtle patient.

Geordies initial physical assessment and bloods:

Red blood cells are very high (dehydration)

Glucose extremely high (could be stress related)

Only 68% of healthy weight

Very puffy around the shoulders, possible infection.

Has started feeding a small amount.

Very buoyant.

Kept in ICU overnight, floating to be assessed in the morning.

First Night in the Centre

“Geordie slept in a warm intensive care tank last night. I just did another blood test this morning and glucose is still very high. Have extracted 2.5L of gas out of him, and he’s now swimming and diving fine in the big pool. Not floating anymore. He ate really well this morning too.”

Things are looking up for Geordie. All of our fingers and toes are crossed that he makes a full recovery.


Keep Track of Geordies Progress

Update 19th October 2022

Update 23rd November 2022

Update 7th December 2022

How can you help Geordie?

Quoin Island Rehabilitation Centre is run by dedicated volunteers. The centre has been completely overrun with patients this year and it’s a struggle to maintain care of all the turtles with their limited amount of funding.

Prior to 2022 Quoin Island averaged around 37 turtle patients a year. This year the numbers have tripled already!

1 – Next time you take your bottles and cans to CQ Recycling & Recovery – Agnes Water or any other Containers for Change recycling centre, give them this code ID C10144592 and your refund will automatically get donated to the Quoin Island team.

2 –  If you would like to donate, the easiest way is via Paypal Link:

3 – Got plenty of time on your hands? Contact the Quoin team and ask about volunteering at the centre.

To share your support and for more updates on Geordie follow and like Quoin Island Rehabilitation Centre and 1770 LARC! Tours on Facebook.


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