First Cold-Stunned Turtle of the Season Found

This juvenile sea turtle died as a result of being cold-stunned. The Riverhead Foundation

A cold-stunned sea turtle was discovered along a bay beach in Amagansett on Sunday, the first on Long Island found this season.

The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation received a call on its hotline from David Rattray, the East Hampton Star's editor, about a sea turtle washed up on the Gardiner's Bay beach at about 7:55 a.m., according to Kimberly Durham, its rescue program director.

"At the time of the report, the turtle had no signs of life," Ms. Durham said. "Due to its position on the beach and the timing of high tide, it is believed to have spent the better part of the night up on the beach exposed to frigid wind chill,"  she said.

Despite emergency medical treatments, the turtle did not respond and was deemed dead. Ms. Durham described it as a juvenile Atlantic green sea turtle that measured just over a foot in length and weighed slightly less than 4 pounds.

"The recent dip in temperatures puts all sea turtles in New York waters at threat of cold stunning and death," Ms. Durham said.

Any sea turtle sighting should be immediately reported to the Riverhead Foundation through its hotline number 631-369-9829. Ms. Durham said people who come upon the turtles should not try to warm the turtle because that could lead to "life threatening thermal shock." 

Biologists at the Riverhead Foundation brought the turtle to their lab in an attempt to revive it after it was found on an Amagansett beach Sunday.The Riverhead Foundation
James Sullivan, a stranding technician with the Riverhead Foundation, prepared the turtle for transportation in Amagansett.David E. Rattray