On August 8th the dive team was invited to help out the release of the first sea turtle to be released on the Jersey shore. This turtle was rehabilitated by Brandi Biehi and Bill Dear of the Sea Turtle Recovery located at the Turtle Back zoo in West Orange NJ.
Humphrey, the turtle was stranded in Virginia back in December of 2016 and do to overcrowding in a facility there he was shipped up to Sea Turtle Recovery to recover from a respiratory infection and get some weight back on him.
With help from mayor Stephen Reid of Point Pleasant Beach and Jenkinson’s Aquarium and the Point Pleasant First Aid Dive Team the release was set for Aug, 8. Because of the many news releases many people showed up to help send Humphrey back home and even the TV show The Cake Boss made a turtle cake for Humphrey’s big day.
On release day the skies were overcast and it looked like it would rain at any minute but that didn’t stop many of Humphreys fans from showing up and as the beach filled with news crews and cameramen it took on a life of its own. Some speeches were made and many pictures were taken, with the dive team, the Cake Boss and the guy in the turtle suit and the young girls with the “We love you Humphrey” sign.
Then Humphrey was driven onto the beach and was unloaded. He was carried down the beach and laid down just short of the wet sand. Then he was released and he started for the water. The crowd remained pretty quiet and just watched. Humphrey stopped and turned around like he was looking at the crowd and then turned back and kept going towards the water. He turned one last time and then headed right into the water.
With the first hit of the water he start really moving into the waves and after two or three waves he was gone and for just a moment it was so quiet and then the cheers started.
There were cheers and yes there were some tears. But Humphrey was home with a second chance.
Now the Cake Boss took over and started filming for his show. The turtle cake came down the beach on a trailer and was placed in front of the crowd and the Boss said a few words and then it was time to cut the cake and enjoy it!