Last winter, a Florida manatee found himself lost and alone off the coast of Texas. In February, he finally got to return home, with help from a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft and some Coast Guard aviators from the Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama.
A sheriff’s deputy found the manatee, dubbed Trinidad, a Tampa Bay native found in the cold waters of an energy plant’s outflow near Houston, Texas back in November.
He was transported to Sea World San Antonio for rehab, where researchers determined he was a known Gulf Coast manatee who’d been first observed in 2001. After regaining his strength — and 180 pounds — Trinidad was cleared for travel.
On Feb. 18, handlers loaded him into a sling in the back of the aircraft for his flight to central Florida, where the sea cow spent a couple more weeks in recovery until he was released March 4.