My husband Capt. Rajesh Todiwan is a Master Mariner and he generally sails on parcel chemical tankers. I understand the risks of his job and the responsibilities that come with it. Also love listening to the many adventures and mis adventures that he shares; just the way I loved stories that my marine commando father used to share with me. He was an instructor at a Naval Training Centre and had such intriguing stories of the young men who wished to adorn the much coveted commando badge. That’s where I developed a deep interest in the spirit and hope that human beings display. People are truly powerhouses of possibilities!
Equally powerful is the sea, it holds some of the deepest secrets and has enchanting stories. Each seafarer has his own version of these tales – some inspiring, some thought provoking, some scary but none that are boring! I somehow feel a strong connection with the sea; may be because I’ve lived in seaport towns and seen sailors and seafarers, in fact have many friends among them. To add I am married to one!
Just the other day I was speaking with my husband and he told me that they had rescued a turtle that was about 20 kgs. I was delighted to hear that and wanted to know more. Have read that sea turtles are the only reptiles that migrate long distances to lay their eggs on a favourable beach. Also know that they are hunted for their meat, shells or for use in medicines. They often get killed accidently trapped in fishing nets as bycatch. Their habitats around the world are getting destroyed and some species are on the verge of extinction. This rescue thus becomes special.
I have covered some of the rescue missions carried out by Capt. Todiwan on my blog; for two reasons. One is to archive such moments and anecdotes and the second one being a tribute to the sea that provides for all and has done that ever since the mankind thrived. He has been a part of the missions that not only saved people but also animals. The turtle story brought those memories afresh and I am feeling so proud of my husband and his team on board.
It was on 22nd October 2021 they were sailing in the Bay of Bengal going towards Indonesia just then they saw a fishing net floating. It looked as if there was something caught in it but didn’t see anything clearly also they couldn’t stop the vessel at that time. After going past that area they were on course. Just then Capt. Todiwan looked behind and felt the instinct that told him they should check the net and ensure that nothing is trapped in it. They turned the vessel and came towards the net; they noticed that there was a turtle trapped in it. They stopped the vessel and wanted to rescue the turtle. How could they leave a living being trapped? The Chief Officer and third officer volunteered to get into the sea and bring up the turtle that was 95% entrapped in the net that had to be cut to free it. They were lowered into the sea and had the others cheering for them, rooting for their new friend that needed their help. Voila! that’s what happened the net was brought to the deck and it was shredded to pieces gifting the ‘freedom’ to the lucky turtle. There was so much joy and instant cheering for the new friend. Everyone joined in the little celebration of ‘the good turn’ that they did for the day. They clicked pictures to preserve the moment and revisit the nostalgia later.
The turtle was put back into the sea and they saw it making its way happily back to where it belonged. The vessel then set sail again catching on its course. This story highlights our responsibility towards the environment and for other living beings. We need to protect the environment and save lives; a small effort towards conservation and sustainability. This might be a drop in the ocean but drops ultimately make the ocean!
“To me, the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships, with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?” ~Walt Whitman
PS: Pictures Courtesy Capt. Rajesh Todiwan, Master at Thome Group, vessel Wawasan Bluefin