A diver working on an oilrig off the coast of Thailand had a one in a million encounter with a precocious hawksbill sea turtle.

While working on the rig’s supports, the diver’s accompanying remotely operated vehicle (ROV) mounted camera caught a turtle swim up from the distance and climb onto the worker’s back without them noticing. Just as the turtle was about to take a nibble of the tether the diver noticed the curious reptile who later stuck around for belly rubs and neck scratches like a puppy.

According to the diver’s blog which gives added information about hawksbill sea turtles:

“I felt this weight pushing against me, when I turned around all I saw was a big turtle’s belly. A shark was seen soon before I got in the water”

After the turtle had its share of petting, it swam up to the ROV’s camera for some close-ups and then took off.

Watching that playful turtle also helps to shed light on the Thai’s governments efforts on sea turtle conservation.  With sea turtle numbers on the decline, more worldwide efforts are needed to protect them.

This kind of scene makes me wish I wasn’t deathly afraid of setting foot in the ocean.

Source: Pattaya Unlimited (English) via Karapaiya (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – dconnearn