• Outdoors Outdoors

Dramatic video shows heroic cargo ship crew saving turtles from peril in water: 'We need to do better'

"This is from human carelessness."

"This is from human carelessness."

Photo Credit: iStock

Need a little positivity to brighten your day? This heartwarming viral video offers a shining example of human compassion while underscoring the urgent need to curb plastic pollution.

The clip, posted to TikTok by waste management technology company The Ocean Cleanup (@theoceancleanup), shows crew members aboard a Maersk cargo ship freeing a sea turtle ensnared in a tangled mess of plastic fishing nets and debris floating in the Pacific Ocean.

"The horrific impact of ocean plastic: two turtles trapped in a single bundle of abandoned fishing gear in the Pacific Ocean," reads part of the caption beneath the video. 

After the sailors carefully cut away the mesh of ropes and tangled plastic and remove a deeply wedged hook, the turtle paddles free of its restraints and swims safely away.

@theoceancleanup The horrific impact of ocean plastic: two turtles trapped in a single bundle of abandoned fishing gear in the Pacific Ocean, freed by crew members from partner vessel @maersk_official in December 2023. This footage was recorded by the crew of the Maersk Tender around 75 nautical miles off the coast of Mexico, as the vessel was en route to Panama following its cleaning deployment in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. @maersk_official ♬ original sound - The Ocean Cleanup

The video is a sobering reminder of the devastating toll the plastic trash littering our oceans takes on marine wildlife. While it's difficult to estimate how many marine animals (including fish, sharks, turtles, and birds) die annually from eating or getting trapped in plastic, the Sea Turtle Conservancy estimates that the exact number is larger than 1 million.

Whether it's a stray six-pack ring or an abandoned net, ocean plastic poses a threat to animals all across the food chain, from tiny plankton to mighty whales.

The turtle in this video likely would have faced starvation, infection, or drowning without the Maersk crew's intervention. The desperate situation spotlights the urgent need to address the causes of plastic pollution.

While the video sheds light on an environmental crisis, the Maersk crew's compassion also ignites a hopeful truth: When we take action to protect wildlife from pollution, we can make a difference. By joining the global movement to reduce single-use plastics and prevent waste from reaching waters in the first place, each of us can create cleaner, safer oceans.

Commenters on TikTok praised the video. "Blessings to every person who takes the time and effort to help an animal," one user wrote.

Others called for curbing plastic use, with one urging, "We need to do better. This is from human carelessness."

Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider