Two endangered sea turtles to be released back into ocean off Martha’s Vineyard

Two endangered sea turtles will be released into the ocean Wednesday after months of rehabilitation at the New England Aquarium, officials said.

Just after noon Wednesday, the two young Kemp’s ridleys turtles will be released into the water off Martha’s Vineyard, the Aquarium said.

A group of 242 turtles washed up on the shores of Cape Cod in November and December due to hypothermia. All but six of the turtles were released back into warmer waters during the winter and spring, the Aquarium said in a statement.

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In addition to hypothermia, the six turtles, whose weights range from 11 to 19 pounds, suffered from pneumonia, blood imbalances, kidney failure, fractures, and emaciation. Veterinarians and biologists worked with the turtles for eight months to cure them and prepare them to return to the wild, the statement said.

Each of the turtles that will be released has a GPS-enabled device glued to their shell that will log the depths of their dives and the temperatures of the water. When the turtles come to the surface, the data will be transmitted to a satellite overhead, the statement said.

The four turtles who will not be released on Wednesday still need GPS devices.

Biologists at the aquarium always choose a theme to name their patients, and this year the theme was crime fiction. The two turtles being released are Frank Hardy and Benton Wesley, according to Tony LaCasse, Aquarium spokesman.