Niyom Sawangkiri, former village chief of the Kingkaew community, reported that the turtle was found by a local fisherman, who he named only as “Pong”.
“He saw the turtle was stuck in the fishing net, so he dragged it ahore and cut the net off,” Mr Niyom said.
Mr Pong later told reporters, “My team [of fishermen] and I think that the turtle must have lost its way back into the sea, and that it should be in the hands of marine experts for its safety.”
The net that the turtle had become entangled in was set in only shallow waters near the beach at the end of Soi Kingkaew, just north of Phuket Town.
Marine wildlife experts from the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) were called to take the turtle into care.
“We have already checked the turtle and have not found any wound on the turtle’s body,” Dr Pathompong Jongjit, a marine biologist at the PMBC told The Phuket News today.
The turtle’s shell measured 90cm long and 60cm wide, and the turtle in full weighed about 70kg.
“It was healthy enough to be released to the sea,” Dr Pathompong added, adding that after being checked, the turtle was then released to the sea at Cape Panwa.
“The turtle has also been embedded with a microchip so we will be able to track when it lays eggs,” he said.