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Ian Klopper, NSRI Kommetjie station commander, said: At 08h51, Wednesday, 31st July, NSRI Kommetjie duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a seal and a Loggerhead turtle trapped in a fishing net washed ashore on the beach at Longbeach, Kommetjie.

Members of the public walking along the beach had come across the two distressed animals and they raised the alarm. An NSRI Kommetjie rescue crew responded and we were joined on the scene by the staff of the Two Oceans Aquarium.

We found the two animals trapped in one net and it appears that they may have been drifting at sea for some time in what looks like an old and discarded fishing net and most likely washed ashore during the night in the storm. The seal appeared most stressed and for safety, we used the SAWDN (South African Whale Disentanglement Network) poles and cutting equipment. In an operation lasting about half an hour, the net was cut away from the two animals and they were successfully released and the net was recovered for disposal.

The seal immediately returned to the sea appearing to be unharmed and the turtle was transported to Two Oceans Aquarium by their staff who have confirmed that the turtle is receiving good care and rehabilitation but is in good health and will be released back to the ocean soon.
Images and Video: Justin Pienaar/NSRI Kommetjie
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