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Live loggerhead turtles spotted off Dorset headland

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Public urged to be vigilant when out walking as this endangered species will struggle to survive in cooling UK sea temperatures

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) says marine turtles spotted near Swanage, and thought to be endangered loggerheads, may well be at risk of stranding on local beaches in the coming days as the sea temperature in the south west drops.

The UK’s leading marine charity was contacted by Sarah Fargher from Fuzzacker Guided Walks, based in the New Forest, after the group of walkers she was with spotted the turtles whilst walking along the coast path at Durlston Head on Sunday 18th October.

“When one of our group said “it looks like a turtle”, I resorted to some pretty unsubtle persuasion in order to borrow the highest strength binoculars on the cliff. As it swam towards us its ochre skin and brown shell became unmistakable; I was so excited when I realised it must be a loggerhead. I just hope it makes its way back to warmer waters,” said Sarah.

The group were amazed to see a second turtle at the same time. Sarah estimated the turtles to be about 50 metres from the shore, and could have been between two and three feet in length.

MCS Head of Biodiversity and Fisheries, Dr Peter Richardson, says that of the seven species of marine turtle, loggerheads breed at the most northerly latitudes, with the nearest breeding populations to the UK found in the Mediterranean, the Cape Verde Islands and the south eastern USA.

“This is a fantastic record because live loggerhead turtles are rarely spotted in UK seas, but to see two together is incredibly lucky,” said Dr Richardson.

Juvenile loggerheads spend their first few years swimming at the surface of the open ocean feeding on jellyfish and other creatures at the surface, before settling in inshore waters where they use their powerful beaks to eat crabs and other shellfish. Usually, young loggerheads thrive in warmer waters, but will stop feeding when sea temperatures drop below about 15°C.

“South West inshore surface water temperatures are about 15°C at the moment. As the seas cool down these turtles will stop feeding, lose condition and suffer from acute hypothermia. If they are lucky, they may strand alive on a beach, and if found in time they can be rescued and rehabilitated back to health with specialist treatment.”

“Sometimes walkers will find a stranded turtle and put it back in the sea,” said Dr Richardson, “But this absolutely the wrong thing to do because hypothermic, stranded turtles will certainly perish if they are left in the water. We urge anyone who finds a turtle on UK shores to report it immediately, and try and make sure the tides don’t wash them back to sea.”

Live stranded turtles in the UK should be reported immediately to Marine Environmental Monitoring on 01239 683033 or the regional numbers listed on the UK Turtle Code here.

Competitions

WIN a Bigblue Expandable Tray!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue Expandable Tray as a prize!!!

The Bigblue expandable tray (176mm-287mm) has fittings and screws to attach action and compact cameras. The base and handles are made from high grade aluminium with the handles having a neoprene grip. The package also includes clamps and adaptors for 1” ball and YS light fittings.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported that the Handicapped Scuba Association South Africa has announced plans to host their 6th Annual fundraising event “HSASA 50hr Dive–A-Thon 2021” this year. But on what dates will the event take place?

Is it:

  • A) 15th – 17th October
  • B) 22nd – 24th October
  • C) 29th – 31st October

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Liquid Sports Bigblue Extendable Tray March 2021

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Liquid Sports and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 14/04/2021. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Dive Training Blogs

Jeff chats to… Jim Elliott and Tinamarie Hernandez of Diveheart (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Jim Elliott, Founder and President of Diveheart, and Tinamarie Hernandez who is the organization’s Executive Director.

Diveheart is a US-based, nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization which aims to provide and support educational scuba diving programs that are open to any child, adult or veteran with a disability, with the hope of providing both physical and psychological therapeutic value to that person.

In their own words:

We’ve discovered the forgiving, weightless wonder of the water column provides the perfect gravity-free environment for those who might otherwise struggle on land. Underwater, we’re all equal.

Diveheart works with individuals who have a variety of disabilities, including physical and developmental disabilities, vision and hearing impairments, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and more. Diveheart seeks to help its participants “Imagine the Possibilities” in their lives.

 

Find out more about Diveheart and their valuable work at www.diveheart.org.


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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