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Washington boy saves turtle on Big Island

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – A 10-year-old boy visiting from Washington state is credited for rescuing a turtle ensnared by a fishing line off the Big Island.

Dylan Hiatt told West Hawaii Today he was snorkeling Sunday at Kahaluu Beach Park when he discovered a turtle with a hook caught in its fin. Dylan, of Woodinville, Wash., said he dived about 10 feet below the surface to try and free it.

“I know you’re not supposed to be that close, but I wanted to save the turtle,” he said. “I didn’t know if he was going to sit down there the rest of his life and die.”

After loosening the turtle from the line, the boy and his grandmother, Sandy Hiatt, brought the animal to shore.

When they got to the beach, other bystanders joined them in attempting to pry the hook out. The group eventually decided to leave the hook and allow it to disintegrate on its own.

Hawaii County Fire Department Battalion Chief of Special Operations Gerald Kosaki said Tuesday the animal was likely a Hawaiian green sea turtle.

“It’s good that he noticed and saw the turtle because the turtle could have gotten into trouble if the line wasn’t cut,” Kosaki said. “It was a very humane thing he did. … It’s kind of rare that something like this happens.”

“I just like helping people and other animals,” Dylan said. “I just really like wildlife.”


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