TWO green sea turtles headed home this morning when they were released back into the ocean at Main Beach, Byron Bay.
The turtles, Thurston and Will Smith were rescued within a day of each and have spent time recovering with Australian Seabird Rescue at Ballina.
Thurston was stranded at South Golden Beach with a 50% barnacle cover and suffering from float syndrome which can be caused by plastic ingestion, stress or internal infections.
"Thurston was an interesting rescue as he had one tag on his left front flipper," Australian Seabird Rescue general manager Kathrina Southwell said.
"We discovered that he had been caught in a shark net on the Gold Coast in November last year. He had been released and tagged as part of the Queensland shark control program.
"We have tagged his right front flipper so if he ever strands again, people will know that he has been rehabilitated by Australian Seabird Rescue's Ballina Byron Sea Turtle Hospital."
Will Smith stranded at Casuarina Beach on the 19th October with 80% barnacle cover on his skin and only a few barnacles on his carapace.
"Once these two turtles have been released, we will still have seven turtles left in care," Ms Southwell said.
"It has been costing us close to $500 per week to keep these turtles fed and our veterinary expenses have been adding up too.
"We are a not for profit organisation that relies on support from the community through donations.
If you would like to donate to Australian Seabird Rescue go to seabirdrescue.org