A view of the rescue from the Coast Guard helicopter. By Tim KellyA leatherback sea turtle owes its life to an Ocean City man whose fast action freed the reptile. The turtle’s head and neck were ensnared in fishing line during the incident which took place on Thursday.Jeff Valentine, 50 years old, was working on a Towboat U.S. Shamrock Marine Towing vessel as it conducted a training exercise with a Coast Guard helicopter. The crews were in waters of the Great Egg Inlet, off Longport.Valentine and the other crew members from his boat and members of the helicopter crew spotted the massive beast floating on the ocean surface in obvious distress.“The turtle was stuck to a conch trap. The line was wrapped tightly around its head.”Jeff Valentine straddled the reptile and used his utility knife to free the sea turtle.The lined looped “at least five or six times,” around the turtle’s head, said Valentine, a resident of the Riviera section of town. “I’m a pretty good swimmer, so I thought I could jump in there and free him.”The retired 25-year veteran of the Coast Guard and former “cutter swimmer” donned a life jacket and swam out to the turtle.“There was no slack on the line and it was attached to the trap. The line went straight down to the (trap.) There was nowhere the turtle could go. All he could do was lift his head. He was gasping for air.”According to the National Geographic website, leatherback turtles are the largest turtles on the planet, eventually growing to seven feet in length and weighing more than 2,000 pounds.The leatherback sea turtle was ensnared in fishing line and tethered to a conch trap off Longport.In pictures taken from the Shamrock Towing boat, this particular animal appeared to be at least five feet in length, and Valentine estimated its weight to be in excess of 500 pounds.Leatherback sea turtles are classified by National Geographic as “rapidly declining” in population, and were at one time found in every ocean except the Arctic and Antarctic. They are also among the oldest species in the world, with evolutionary roots tracing back more than 100 million years, according to the website.As Valentine paddled toward the turtle, he approached from behind and straddled its shell. He took out his knife and was able to cut the multiple loops wrapped around the turtle’s head.When the turtle was finally freed from the line, “he kicked me off” his back and Valentine felt its foot push off as “I kind of eased back as he began to swim away,” Jeff said.Jeff Valentine displays the remnants of the conch trap after freeing the sea turtle.“It felt awesome,” to free the turtle, Valentine said. “I’m glad I was there and glad I could do it.” He was quick to credit the other members of the Shamrock Towing vessel crew, Bob Driscoll and David Pace. He said Driscoll and Pace maneuvered the boat, a 41-ft. former Coast Guard utility boat now owned by the Ocean City company, close enough for him to easily reach the trapped reptile.“I’m not sure if most people would have done what we did. I’m pretty sure if we hadn’t been there he would have died within a half hour.”The takeaway from the experience, he said, is that people need to be more careful when they dispose of seemingly innocent items that wind up killing marine life.“Most of those congratulatory balloons that are released on the beach end up in the ocean. That stuff ends up killing marine life all the time. It’s not that hard. Cut the plastic six-pack holders, and watch how you dispose things that could end up in the ocean. People need to learn to be more aware and more responsible for their actions.”Although Valentine referred to the turtle as “he,” the actual gender was undetermined.When asked if the crew members called the sea turtle by a name, Valentine laughed. “I would say his name should be Lucky S.O.B.”Valentine displays the knife he used to free the trapped sea turtle.
Mrs. Margaret Marie (Otter) Turner, age 79, of Florence, Indiana, entered this life on October 26, 1937, in Madison, Indiana, the daughter of the late, Royland A. “Roll” and Daisy (McFarland) Otter. She was raised in Five Points, Indiana and was a 1955 graduate of Vevay High School. Margaret was united in marriage to Stanley Lee Turner on August 18, 1956, at the Switzerland Baptist Church in Vevay, Indiana and to this union arrived a daughter, Teresa and a son, Stanley to bless their home. Margaret and Stanley shared nearly 47 years of marriage together until Stanley passed away on May 17, 2003. Margaret owned and operated Florence General Store in Florence, Indiana, from 1960 to 1970. Margaret and Stanley purchased a farm on Bethel Ridge in 1971 to 1987. She resided most of her life in the Florence, Indiana community. She was a member of the Vevay American Legion Post #185 Ladies Auxiliary and the Vevay VFW Post #5396 Ladies Auxiliary. Margaret was baptized by Rev. Mike Barnes at her home a few months ago. Margaret enjoyed sewing and wintering for 13 years in Homosassa Springs, Florida and was a good friend and neighbor to many. Margaret will be dearly missed by her loving family and friends. Margaret passed away at 10:10 pm, Friday, November 4, 2016, at the Swiss Villa Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Vevay, Indiana.Margaret will be dearly missed by her daughter: Teresa Turner of Florence, IN; her son: Stanley Ray Turner of Sanders, KY; her grandchildren: Stanley Ray Turner, Jr. and his wife: Liz, Shane Michael Turner and his wife: Ashley and Jason Alan York and his wife: Rachel; her great-grandchildren: Peyton Turner, Lane Turner, Josie Turner, Hank Turner and Brayleigh York; her half-sister: Patricia (Otter) Jones of Liberty, KY; her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-laws: Larry and Virginia Turner of Florence, IN, Frank and Peggy Turner of Rising Sun, IN, Vandora Stuard of Rising Sun, IN, Rita and Jack Waltz of North Vernon, IN and Judy Turner Weston of Milton, KY and her several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and other relatives.She was preceded in death by her parents: Royland A. “Roll” and Daisy (McFarland) Otter; her husband: Stanley Lee “Ike” Turner, died May 17, 2003; her sisters: Betty Jean Adams, died June 3, 2008 and Anna Ruth Holdcroft, died July 16, 2015; her nephews: George Bryant Adams, died February 16, 2014 and Royland L. “Tom” Skirvin, died March 18, 2016; her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Harry Turner, Donnie Turner, Warren Turner, Paul Scudder, Lionel Turner and Wilma “Sis” Turner.Funeral services will be conducted Thursday, November 10, 2016, at 1:00 pm, by Rev. Mike Barnes, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043.Interment will follow in the Vevay Cemetery, Vevay, Indiana.Friends may call 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Thursday, November 10, 2016, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043.Memorial contributions may be made to Charity of the Donor’s Choice. Cards are available at the funeral home.
CAKE DECORATING:Grade 3-5 BeginnerJessie Bilz – RedKenlee Gault – Blue, Reserve ChampionJacob Gearhart – Blue, Honor, Champion, State FairAva Lecher – RedKeely Pavan – BlueLydia Rennekamp – RedAubrey Tressler – WhiteElizabeth Walden – BlueGrade 6-8 IntermediateAddison Baltus – Blue, Reserve ChampionAddie Gauck – BlueKatie Gearhart – BlueAlexis Turner – Blue, Champion, Reserve Grand Champion, Honor, State FairMadison Warrick – BlueGrade 9-12 AdvancedSidney Parmer – Blue, Reserve ChampionClaire Hamilton – Blue, Champion, Grand Champion, Honor, State FairPaige Wesseler – Red Grade 5, Frozen PizzaEmily Rathburn – Blue, Champion, State FairGrade 6, Frozen VegetableOwen Kunz – Blue, Reserve Champion, State FairGrade 7-9, Canned Tomato ProductBridget Nobbe – Blue, Reserve Champion, State FairGrade 7-9, Freezer JamMaria Nobbe – Blue, Champion, Reserve Grand Champion, State FairLynse Wolterman – BlueGrade 10-12, Pressure Canned ProductMadison Rathburn – Blue, Champion, Grand Champion, State FairMadison Shields – Blue FAMILY FOOD RECIPES: FOOD PRESERVATION:Grade 3, Frozen Baked CookiesJack Rathburn – Blue, State FairKatelyn Wooten – BlueGrade 4 Frozen BerriesMichael Nobbe – Blue, Champion, State FairJoel Kunz – Blue, Reserve Champion FOOD PREPARATION:Grade 3, Baked CookiesNorah Amberger – BlueJessie Biltz – BlueJack Rathburn – BlueHaleigh Stewart – BlueEdward Volk – Blue, Champion, Reserve Grand Champion, State FairAlivia Weber – BlueRachael Wessel – GreenKatelyn Wooten – BlueGrade 4, Baked MuffinsElizabeth Bennett – BlueMaggie Burkhart – Blue, Reserve Champion, State FairGrade 5, Baked CakeAva Lecher – RedEmily Rathburn – Blue, Champion, State FairLillian Scudder – Blue, Reserve ChampionElla Stromberg – BlueCorrine Volk – RedGrade 6, Baked No-Yeast Pretzel or No-Yeast BiscuitEliana Weber – Blue, State FairGrade 7-9, Baked Yeast BreadElizabeth Fisse – BlueElizabeth Flessner – Blue, Champion, State FairLily Hellmich – BlueAllison Norton – BlueMary Schwering – RedJessica Williams – Blue, Reserve Champion, State FairGrade 10-12, Fruit PieMaria Fogg – BlueJenna Geis – Blue, Champion, Grand Champion, State FairAshley Grimes – BlueAbigail Hartman – BlueGrace Hartman – Blue, Reserve ChampionElizabeth Hyatt – BlueMegan Manlief – BlueMadison Rathburn – BlueMadison Shields – BlueRachel Teague – BlueBailey Tomson – Blue Greensburg, IN—2019 4-H PROJECT RESULTS FOR:CAKE DECORATING, FAMILY FOOD RECIPES,FOOD PREPARATION, FOOD PRESERVATION andMICROWAVE COOKING Grade 3-5Nolan Barber – RedAddi Bennett – BlueElizabeth Bennett – Blue, Reserve ChampionClarabelle Schoettmer – RedHaleigh Stewart – Blue, ChampionGrade 9-12Eliana Cox – Blue, Reserve Champion, Reserve Grand ChampionBailey Tomson – Blue, Champion, Grand Champion MICROWAVE COOKING:Grade 3-4Jack Rathburn – RedCletus Rennekamp – BlueKatelyn Wooten – Blue, Champion, Reserve Grand ChampionGrade 5-6Emily Rathburn – RedGrade 10-12Loren Martin – Blue, Champion, Grand ChampionMadison Rathburn – Red