It was noon on December 6, the day of Saint Nicholas in Greece, when a local resident saw a large wounded turtle on the beach of Pythagoreio in Samos. She immediately contacted Archipelagos’ research base in Samos and a team of scientists and volunteers soon arrived to the site.

It was a fully grown male loggerhead turtle which appeared to have been hit on the head by a speedboat propeller. The team offered emergency first aid and then transferred him to the Research Base of Archipelagos Institute in Samos.

Due to the seriousness of the injury, it was decided that the turtle had to be transported directly to the rehabilitation centre of ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society, in Athens. As the boat was going to leave soon for Piraeus port, the rescue of the injured turtle seemed impossible. However, with the valuable help and assistance of the staff of Samos Port Authority, we made it! The captain and crew of the ferry boat “Mytilini” responded immediately to our request, delaying departure for fifteen minutes and providing all possible assistance for the safe transportation of the turtle.

Scientists from ARCHELON received the turtle the next morning and transported it to the rehabilitation center. The first examinations and x-rays showed that there are multiple and severe wounds in its skull because of the hit by the propeller. In the coming days, after detailed examination, it will be decided whether the turtle will be able to return and survive in its natural environment or the damage is irreparable.

We would like to thank the ferry boat company NEL Lines, the captain and crew of the boat Mytilini and the port authorities of Samos for their invaluable help.

If you see any injured or ill wildlife in the Aegean islands, please do contact Archipelagos Institute at at +30 22730 61147, 2273087600 or, for emergency calls, at +30 6974744949.