A stranded turtle was rescued Friday morning in the Choc cemetery and returned to the sea.

Deputy Chief Fisheries Officer, Thomas Nelson, told St Lucia Times that Castries City Council (CCC) workers called the department to report that a sea turtle was in distress.

“We responded very quickly to assess the situation and we found a huge adult Hawksbill sea turtle measuring close to four feet in length,” Nelson disclosed.

The Fisheries Department official explained that the stranded creature obviously had become disoriented when it arrivedĀ  on Vigie Beach to lay its eggs and fell off a slope in the cemetery.

Nelson said the turtle was able to survive and did not suffer any injury.

He told St Lucia Times that officials were able to return the animal to the sea.

“It appeared to be distressed and dehydrated because it must have been there at least four hours, compared to the laying process that would generally take about an hour and a half – maximum two hours,” Nelson stated.

The Fisheries official said the turtle appeared to be doing well once it got into the water

He expressed thanks to the CCC employees who sounded the alarm and said the Fisheries Department wanted to continue collaborating with them to report and address the issue of stranded turtles, especially in the Vigie beach area which is an important nesting site.

“Unfortunately because it fell off the slope it was not able to lay – we did not notice any sign of actual nesting, so because it came to nest it means that the eggs it has are ready to be laid.”

Nelson expressed the view that within hours the turtle would find a suitable beach to lay the eggs.

He told St Lucia Times that sea turtles are on the endangered list globally and conservation measures are in place locally to protect them.