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Hundreds of turtles saved during cold stunning event in Corpus Christi

Cold-stunned sea turtles turning up after frigid temperatures
Posted at 6:36 PM, Feb 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-20 19:36:25-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For the hundreds of volunteers and for those who get paid, this all comes from the heart. And it can break your heart to see so many like this, turtles stunned by the sudden cold.

"This was the perfect storm of cold stunning events," Dr. Donna Shaver, Stranding Network Coordinator. "And this drop was so abrupt they did not have time to flee to the few exit points that exist between the Laguna and the Gulf of Mexico."

Brandon Upton of Sea Tow Corpus Christi cannot tell you how many turtles he is scooped from the icy waters and carried to his airboat.

He is carried hundreds in the past few days for sure, and it never gets easier.

"It's tough from a mental standpoint to see them suffer," Upton says.

The suffering is something they suffer through to get to the good part.

Rebecca Maestas says, "I just can't wait to get them warmed back up and get summer here and get them back home."

And park ranger Mike Evans says they should pass the swim test to go back into the gulf right away.

For those who know, they say about half will survive this freeze. Half of about the maybe 8,000 found floating in the bays.

"We found six yesterday and they were all alive," Brenna Gordon.

Brenna Gordon and her sister Piper just wanted to help. They just had to help. They would save them all if they could.

"This really is inspiring to me because I know at my age, I've got more years behind me than in front of me and we've got to get the next generation inspired and educated so that you can take over from us," Shaver said.