What should I do If:

  • Do not dig up the nest.
  • If the nest is in danger of being trampled by people or vehicle traffic, you could form a protective square fence around the nest (e.g. 2 metres wide) using sticks and rope.
  • If there are stones or other objects around the nest which might prevent the hatchlings from reaching the sea, remove them.
  • If the nest is located under shadow, e.g. of an umbrella, try to remove the object.
  • Alert the relevant local/national authorities or conservation organisation.
  • Keep your distance. Do not touch the hatchling, do not carry it to the sea.
  • Flatten the sand in its path to the sea and remove any obstacles.
  • If you take a photo, do not use flash. Do not use flashlight at night.
  • It’s possible that the turtle appears to be dead when in fact it is lethargic, which is common during the cold months or when the turtle suddenly swims into extremely cold waters. To confirm the death and its cause a state veterinarian should be called. If there is none available, notify any other available veterinarian or responsible authorities (e.g. the Coast Guard).
  • If the turtle is dead, it should be brought ashore.
  • If possible, take photographs of the dead turtle and its injuries, if they are visible. Check the turtle’s flippers for any tags and take photographs.
  • Contact the relevant state authorities or rescue network. In Greece, notify the Coast Guard to register the case and the local authority (e.g. municipality) for the safe and legal burial of the animal.
  • Check from a distance if the turtle is moving. Keep in mind that it is natural for female turtles to emerge on beaches to lay eggs and they should not be disturbed.
  • If the turtle is injured, transfer it to a safe and sheltered area, away from noise and people. If the turtle is large, two people will need to carry it. The turtle should be picked up by the shell and never by the flippers or the head. Place it carefully on land, making sure that its flippers do not fold underneath its body. Make sure that the turtle doesn’t get stressed; try to avoid loud noises, unnecessary movements or contact with the turtle and ensure there aren’t many people surrounding it.
  • During the warm months cover the turtle with a wet cloth to keep it moist and avoid dehydration. The temperature of the area where the turtle is kept should not fall below 15°C.
  • Do not attempt to place the turtle in water if it has a head injury or is exhausted, as it may drown.
  • If the turtle is tangled up in a net or lines, they should be carefully removed. If there’s a hook or line protruding from its mouth or tail, do not try to pull it out, as you may further injure the turtle.
  • Check the turtle’s flippers for any tags.
  • Notify the authorities and the national sea turtle rescue network. In Greece, notify the Coast Guard and the sea turtle rescue network (0030-210-8944444)
Sea Turtle Rescue & First Aid Centers in the Mediterranean!