If you spot a baby turtle washed up along a South Coast beach, do not place it back into the sea.
The turtles are likely to be exhausted and potentially injured from putting up a fight against the extreme weather, which has caused loggerhead turtle hatchlings to be displaced from their nesting areas in Queensland.
Nesting for the loggerhead turtles usually finishes late February. The extreme weather coincided with the period that the hatchlings start to emerge into the ocean, causing big swells to catch them along the way and push them onto the shore.
Rescuer at the Australian Seabird Rescue South Coast Lauren Manning-Darby said if you come across a tiny turtle, it's best to place it in a box.
"Stay with the hatchling if possible, place it in an open box or a container with a towel or something soft underneath it," she said.
"Be sure to keep pets and kids away and keep the noise minimal. Contact us and we can get a rescuer out as soon as possible."
So far, seven turtles have been found at South Coast beaches including Currarong Beach, Vincentia, Batemans Bay and Merimbula. Six have been found along the Central Coast.
The turtles are still in care at the Australian Seabird Rescue.
At their youngest, Loggerhead Turtles are vulnerable. Lauren stressed the importance of keeping the endangered species safe.
"Loggerheads are an endangered and vital species in maintaining the health of the sea grass beds and the reefs in marine ecosystems. This is why we try to increase the chance of survival of every individual turtle coming into care," she said.
"They spend several years drifting on the currents but when they get caught up in storms and washed up into beaches, they get smashed into rocks or accidentally ingest plastic because they're in incorrect feeding grounds.
"They're inexperienced and this can make them weak in dealing with getting back into the water."
If you come across a baby turtle, contact the Australian Seabird Rescue South Coast branch on 0431 282 238 or via their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AustralianSeabirdRescueSouthCoast
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.