A search-and-rescue aircraft pulled into a Coast Guard air station in Opa-locka on Wednesday evening with five unusual passengers: loggerhead sea turtles rescued from Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts.
Winter weather often harms the sea turtles, which are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
The turtles were unloaded into a Miami Seaquarium van for treatment. Jessica Schiffhauer, a Seaquarium supervisor, said the five turtles are between 1 and 5 years old and weigh 60 to 100 pounds each.
“It [the cold water] shuts down their organs and makes it hard to move or breathe,” she said.