These shocking pictures reveal the alarming trend for turtle meat which sees hunters drag the huge amphibians from the water - before leaving them to SUFFOCATE on the shore.
British tourist Chris Skone-Roberts, 44, was horrified when he spotted two 5ft loggerheads sprawled on their backs struggling to breathe in the garden of a bar in Nicaragua.
He immediately tried to cover them in water but was pulled off by an angry woman who claimed they were hers.
It is believed, once dead, the woman would have sold the meat on the black market.
Chris frantically called the police to report the illegal activity, before rounding up a large group of tourists and divers to help rescue the dying animals on Little Corn Island off the east coast of the Central American state.
He said: "Sometimes you are faced with a situation so outrageous that you have no other choice than to intervene and right a wrong.
"These poor creatures are endangered enough but to leave them to die like this was inhumane so we had to act."
The team spent half an hour pouring buckets of water over the animals, which had their fins tied, in an attempt to revive them.
When they finally managed to rouse the weary animals officers ordered the turtles' release and they were quickly placed on wooden carts and wheeled back on to the beach.
Once in the water the rescuers, with the help of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a non-profit, marine conservation organisation, eased the turtles back into swimming before cutting their ties.
"We left them on their backs to stop them from struggling and tearing their fins apart," Chris, a PADI Rescue Diver and former paramedic, added.
"Once we cut the ties they went off like the clappers, it was wonderful to see."
A growing trend in sea turtle meat is thought to be behind the drastically reducing numbers of the endangered species across the world.
In Nicaragua it is estimated more than 35,000 sea turtles are killed each year so they can be sold at significantly high prices for their meat and eggs across the world.