By Linda Bock
WORCESTER — Four large sea turtles hitched a ride to Georgia early yesterday morning on the Polar Beverages corporate jet.
“It was really cool to see,” said Elizabeth Crowley, marketing director for Worcester-based Polar Beverages.
The turtles, which weigh up to 60 pounds, washed up on the beaches of Cape Cod after Hurricane Sandy, along with three dozen other sea turtles. All the turtles were taken to the New England Aquarium for care, and a team from the aquarium escorted the sea turtles to Worcester Regional Airport early yesterday morning. Since some of the turtles are still recovering from hypothermia, a long ground trip would likely have been too stressful for the sea creatures.
Ms. Crowley said David and Julie Crowley also went up to the airport to see the sea turtles off, along with Nancy Dell’Aquila, who also works for Polar.
“They were so adorable,” Ms. Dell’Aquila said.
The sea turtles were loaded in separate containers and rode in the middle section of the passenger section of the plane. There was only enough room for four turtles to make the trip.
“The biggest one couldn’t get onboard,” Ms. Dell’Aquila said.
Mr. Crowley is a New England Aquarium trustee and chief operating officer and general manager of Wachusett Mountain Associates, which operates the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. The Crowley family owns Polar Beverages.
“When we heard the news,” Mr. Crowley said in a news release, “we felt strongly about how we could offer help and provide resources in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.”
When they arrive down south, representatives from the Georgia Sea Turtle Hospital were scheduled to pick up the displaced turtles.
Yesterday morning’s trip to Georgia was a scheduled flight to the company’s corporate office in Georgia, according to Ms. Crowley.