One shell of a story

Friday, 9th January 2015

This Christmas I was lucky enough to cover a feel-good story fit for a John Lewis advert. It goes to show that writing internal communications news is not just about the latest CEO and IS innovation.

While carrying out a beach clean in Cumbria, an environmental conservationist from energy giant Centrica came across a remarkable discovery.

Whilst driving home in his beach buggy, he was stopped by two walkers who said they had found a sea turtle in a nearby rock pool.

Though they did not yet know it, what the walkers had found was the world’s rarest and smallest sea turtle – a juvenile Kemp’s Ridley, measuring just 35 cm, little more than a school ruler.

It was one of a handful that had been carried by the Gulf Stream to north-west England after having been dazed by unusually cold water in the Gulf of Mexico. The two others that have been found in Merseyside and the Netherlands have unfortunately died.

Having wrapped the turtle in a blanket, the conservationist transported it in the back of his beach buggy to his local zoo for specialist advice. Here he was advised to take the turtle home and care for it over night before seeking specialist veterinary care at the local aquarium.

The following night, the unlikely twosome – one in his armchair, the other in a plastic container – stayed up together watching a James Bond box set – Octopussy was definitely in order!

Having kept the turtle comfortable at a constant temperature in warm, salted water through the night, he drove the animal to the aquarium the next day where it is now receiving specialist care.

Now beginning to feed again, the turtle is in a critical but stable condition with hopes high that it can be flown back to the US and returned to its home in the Gulf of Mexico following a full recovery.

Hopefully, this Christmas story will have a happy ending.

Steve Turner

Steve Turner

What do you love about your job? Summing up a 1500 word feature in a six-word headline.