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THE ISLANDER WHO SAVED ‘MANU’

FRANK DEVITT THE ISLANDER WHO SAVED ‘MANU’ THE TURTLE Bay island Pest Control man, Frank Devitt, is the islander who saved ‘Manu’ the Turtle entangled on the Macleay Island foreshore. We told the story of ‘Manu’ in the September edition of your Friendly Bay Islander. At the time, we did not know the name of the Good Samaritan who worked in the water and then on the Macleay Island barge boat ramp to finally free ‘Manu’. We normally see Frank Devitt coming to and from all the islands working with pest control and treatment plant services. He normally wears glasses and looks neat and tidy in his uniform. In the pictures from the turtle effort, he is soaked to the skin, has no shoes and no glasses, so we apologise to Frank for not identifying him. When Frank and others first noticed the turtle in difficulties, he thought at first the big marine reptile was dead. “He was under the water for a very long time and I wasn’t sure whether he was dead or alive.” When he finally surfaced and Frank realised he was in difficulty and entwined in a rope that had been tied to a crab pot. Frank and others went to work. “He clearly had been ensnared for some time and he was exhausted from the effort” Frank observed. Frank didn’t know the others who also tried to help, but one islander conveniently had a small rubber craft nearby and made it available to Frank to use to try to free Manu. “He was well entwined after the turtle’s efforts to free itself, only making the situation worse,” Frank Devitt recalled. After some time and tussling with the turtle, Frank was finally able to free the struggling Manu to the nearby Macleay Island barge boat ramp. It was there Frank and others noticed that Manu had been hurt and was clearly traumatised, so a call was put through to the well known Seaworld marine park for assistance. The rescuers also contacted the volunteer coastguard who came across to Macleay and picked Manu up and transported him to the SeaWorld Rescue Team on the mainland. It was Seaworld veterinarian Claire who told us that our turtle has been named ‘Manu’ and that he is a male. The marine reptile sustained a constrictive injury to one limb. “Manu is doing really well now, after some early concerns for the damaged limb,” she told The Friendly Bay Islander. Manu is still at at Seaworld but soon will be given a safe release. He has been a guest at the the Seaworld rehab pool to recuperate. Frank Devitt also thanked the other islanders who assisted in the rescue of Manu. Here are some phone numbers if you ever encounter a similar situation involving marine life and wildlife: LOCAL WILDLIFE CARER: 0407 771 330; SEAWORLD; 0408 767 885; MORETON BAY MARINE PARK RANGER 0427 753 683.

• Frank Devitt