Miami Seaquarium camp keepers help release sea turtle back into ocean

A loggerhead sea turtle was released back to her natural habitat Tuesday after she was successfully rehabilitated.

Miami Seaquarium camp keepers came out Tuesday morning to release Winnie and send her off into the ocean in Key Biscayne.

Winnie is a loggerhead sea turtle who was rescued April 29 from the water off St. Lucie County.

She was found thin and exhausted, with a wound on her shell, at the St. Lucie County power plant.

The Miami Seaquarium  took her in for treatment and, in just two months, Winnie gained 11 pounds. She now weighs 77 pounds and is strong enough to be let out of the Seaquarium.

Some beachgoers had the opportunity to see Winnie being released.

“We thought it was amazing,” Ana Lima, said. “We were really excited to see this beautiful creature be released right here on the beach we always come to, and we also go to the Seaqaurium a lot, so the kids know these turtles or, you know, the turtles that are there, so this was a really special experience for us.” 

The Miami Seaquarium has a summer camp program, in which they teach children about rescue, rehab and release, and provide them with a hands-on experience.

The program is for children ages 5-18 and runs through Aug. 19.

Click here to learn more about the program and to sign up.

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Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne guest drowns in ocean

Amid a National Weather Service rip current risk alert on Saturday afternoon, a man who was a guest at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne drowned while swimming in the ocean.

The man was swimming when he went into cardiac arrest, according to Key Biscayne Fire Rescue. Paramedics rushed to his aid at 455 Grand Bay Drive and took him to Mercy Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

The National Weather Service issued a coastal hazard message about 4 p.m. warning of a “high rip current risk” that will be on effect until Monday morning. 

Meteorologists warned of “strong and dangerous” rip currents along the East Coast beaches of South Florida. 

Authorities were advising swimmers to remain calm and swim in a direction following the shoreline when caught in a rip current. 

Another man died while swimming in the ocean off Miami Beach on Friday night. 

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3 rescued after boat capsizes off Key Biscayne

The waves off Key Biscayne were strong, so their 1985 Falcon open fishing boat started to take on water faster than the three men could pump it out on Saturday.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Erika Benitez said their cell phones were in a plastic jar. After the boat capsized, the jar with the phones floated back to them. 

They were holding on to a floating cooler when one of them was able to get his iPhone’s virtual assistant Siri to call 911.

“That in and of itself is amazing,” Benitez said. 

Fire rescue and police marine units were looking for them when a U.S. Coast Guard crew on a helicopter found them and sent a diver into the water. The men were not wearing life jackets. 

The diver stayed until a Miami-Dade Police Department’s Marine Patrol Unit picked them up and took them to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park’s No Name Harbor. 

Miami-Dade Detective Dan Ferrin identified the men as Diego Perez, 62, Jorge Luis Colon, Jr., 33, and Jorge Luis Colon, 54. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue paramedics determined they didn’t require medical attention. 

“All agencies involved worked together to ensure these men returned to shore safely,” Benitez said. 

Local 10 News’ Nicole Alvarez contributed to this report. 

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3 rescued after boat capsizes off Key Biscayne

The waves off Key Biscayne were strong, so their 1985 Falcon open fishing boat started to take on water faster than the three men could pump it out on Saturday.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Erika Benitez said their cell phones were in a plastic jar. After the boat capsized, the jar with the phones floated back to them. 

Benitez said they were holding on to a floating cooler when one of them was able to get his iPhone’s virtual assistant Siri to call 911.

“That in and of itself is amazing,” Benitez said. 

Fire rescue and police marine units were looking for them when a U.S. Coast Guard crew on a helicopter found them and sent a diver into the water. The men were not wearing life jackets. 

“The boat sank to the bottom … it’s pretty windy outside. The water was so murky that we couldn’t see the boat,” Sgt. James Barrett said. 

The diver stayed until a Miami-Dade Police Department’s Marine Patrol Unit picked them up and took them to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park’s No Name Harbor. 

Miami-Dade Detective Dan Ferrin identified the men as Diego Perez, 62, Jorge Luis Colon, Jr., 33, and Jorge Luis Colon, 54. They didn’t require medical attention. 

“All agencies involved worked together to ensure these men returned to shore safely,” Benitez said. 

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Local 10 News’ Nicole Alvarez contributed to this report. 

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