KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Among the safety protocols for the Key West World Championship powerboat races were helicopters monitoring sea turtles swimming near the race course.
Monitors from Marathon’s Turtle Hospital and the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key took to the skies to watch for turtles and manatees during the races.
Turtle Hospital Director Richard Moretti tells The Key West Citizen (http://bit.ly/tdBLUb) that even one turtle injured or killed by the speeding boats would have been too many. The sea creatures are threatened with extinction.
A race Wednesday was delayed 45 minutes after a manatee was spotted in the course.
Super Boat International Productions spent about $5,000 each racing day for the helicopter monitoring.
The races ended Sunday. Three people died and two people were injured in boat crashes throughout the event.
Source: Associated Press