Sea turtle rescued in January returns to ocean

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A stunned little sea turtle found in January had a happy ending a week ago when she returned to the Atlantic after being nursed back to health by aquarium staffers.

A family found Amelia, a 10-pound juvenile green sea turtle, in a salt marsh on Hilton Head Island in January. They called the Department of Natural Resources and transferred Amelia to the South Carolina Aquarium's rescue program.

Officials at the aquarium said Amelia arrived with a very low body temperature and weak, slow heart beat. She wasn't even breathing on her own.

Six months later, she made her return to the open ocean off Kiawah Island.

If you find a sick or injured sea turtle, contact the SCDNR sea turtle hotline at (800) 922-5431. You can also help care for sea turtles in recovery at the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Rescue Program by going to and making a donation and by visiting the South Carolina Aquarium and booking a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sea Turtle Hospital.