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Cleanup crew makes heartbreaking discovery inside abandoned mattress floating in the ocean: 'Poor thing'

"I hope he can survive."

"I hope he can survive."

Photo Credit: TikTok

A group from the mission-driven company 4ocean was out on a routine boat cleanup when they noticed something odd.

In a video posted on their TikTok account (@4ocean), their crew wrestles with a large, abandoned mattress that's floated out to sea. Inside the mattress, they found an adult sea turtle, "suffocated by plastic and barely able to move."

Hauling the turtle on board, they quickly cleaned him of plastic and allowed him to recuperate. According to the crew, when he was first rescued, he was "too exhausted to survive on [his] own, with numb flippers and half-closed eyes."

"That turtle looked so tired," one person observed sadly. "[You're all] heroes."


During a recent cleanup off the coast of Pabuwahan Beach, Bali, we found a fully grown olive ridley sea turtle trapped inside a mattress and struggling to survive. The turtle was almost on the verge of suffocation so our cleanup team immediately jumped into action, fetched it out of the mattress, and carefully removed the plastic entangled around its head. The turtle seemed too exhausted to survive on its own, with numb flippers and half-closed eyes. The crew helped it recover by letting it rest in the boat for half an hour. Thanks to the quick action of Nur Wahyudi (the crew member who saw the turtle) we were able to rescue, rehabilitate, and release it back into a cleaner environment. The olive ridley sea turtle was humorously named Alexa, after 4ocean founder @alexjschulze. Six turtle species are endangered, facing severe threats from plastic pollution and poaching daily. The threat of entanglement to turtles is underestimated, as they often suffer internal injuries and starvation from ingesting plastics. It is more important than ever to help support us in solving the ocean plastic crisis. #4ocean #SaveTheTurtles #SeaTurtleRescue

♬ original sound - 4ocean, PBC

Fortunately, over half an hour later, he had regained the strength to swim, and the crew released him back into the — now mattress-free — waters.

In the caption, 4ocean explained that six of the seven sea turtle species in the world are endangered, as they face "severe threats from plastic pollution and poaching daily." Additionally, they continued, "the threat of entanglement to turtles is underestimated, as they often suffer internal injuries and starvation from ingesting plastics."

The issue of plastic in the oceans is bad — and it's getting worse.

Around the world, it is estimated that over 1 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans each year, according to Our World in Data. At this rate, plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the ocean by 2050, per the Center for Biological Diversity.

"Poor thing probably was eating that trash," one commenter lamented. "I hope he can survive," another agreed.

Whether the garbage is large — like this mattress — or broken down into microscopic pieces, the threats it poses to sea life like this turtle cannot be overstated. From becoming entangled in large nets or similar debris, to accidentally ingesting plastic and starving to death, marine animals are in dire need of help.

That's why 4ocean was created by two surfers. "Our lives revolve around the ocean. It's where we go to work, relax, appreciate nature, and experience the joy of being alive," they share on their website. "And to see those places littered with plastic, to see wildlife disappearing, to see people losing their income and way of life…it's the driving force behind why we clean."

Commenters on the turtle rescue video were encouraged by the group's action.

"Love to see humans protecting nature," one person wrote.

"My eyes got teary," another commented.

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