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Boaters take action after making disheartening discovery caught in ocean plastic: 'This brought tears of happiness to my eyes'

"We were just in the right place at the right time to free these beautiful creatures."

"We were just in the right place at the right time to free these beautiful creatures."

Photo Credit: Youtube

A family came across a disheartening scene when sailing across the Indian Ocean, but they turned things around after a serendipitous encounter with some marine life.  

In May, The Cruising Kiwis (@TheCruisingKiwis), who hope to inspire and educate with their adventures and have more than 22,000 subscribers on YouTube, shared footage of themselves saving two Hawksbill sea turtles from ghost netting. 

"We were just in the right place at the right time to free these beautiful creatures," the New Zealand family wrote in the caption, explaining that the turtles seemed "close to death." 

In the clip, one family member observed that the turtles must have been trapped for a long time, as the net had begun digging into their shells. After a bit of strategic snipping, though, the turtles were safely untangled and quickly swam away from the boat.  

The footage warmed the hearts of other YouTubers, who praised the family for rescuing the creatures. 

"This brought tears of happiness to my eyes, you legends!" one commenter wrote. 

"That has to be the greatest feeling," another person said. "Good work, guys!" 

"Yeah, it was deeply satisfying yet equally frustrating to see this happen in the first place," The Cruising Kiwis responded to the latter comment. 

Sadly, the sea turtles' experience isn't uncommon. According to NOAA Fisheries, the "primary threat" to sea turtles is their unintentional entrapment in fishing gear. 

Ghost nets, widely referred to as "silent killers," are part of a widespread problem threatening the health of our ecosystems. In 2016, the World Economic Forum estimated that the amount of plastic entering our waters is "equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute." 

In addition to the plastic-based nets, single-use water bottles, jugs, straws, and bags are among the items that can injure or lead to deaths of marine life. Furthermore, plastics contain toxins that can enter our food chain as they chip into tiny particles known as microplastics.  

However, while the problem of plastic waste is huge — and holding corporations accountable for their practices is a crucial part of ocean cleanup efforts — The Cruising Kiwis' experience highlighted how taking local action can make a difference, whether on land or sea.

"Remember, peeps, never leave your hooks or nets in the water or any plastic on the beach," one commenter concluded. "Everyone would be thankful."

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