By Andrea Davy
She is Mackay's version of the Turtleman.
But unlike her Kentucky counterpart, who has his own weekly TV show highlighting his turtle-catching adventures, 12-year-old Deborah Keioskie doesn't relocate problem turtles - she helps sick ones get the help they need.
Earlier this week Deborah, who is an active member of the Harbour Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, rescued a juvenile green turtle from Blacks Beach when she saw it was struggling.
"When I first saw it, I didn't really know what it was, but then it popped its head up," Deborah said.
The green turtle was being tossed about in the waves and looked as though it was having trouble diving under the water, she said.
"It looked as though it was exhausting (the turtle)," she said.
Deborah waded out to about chest-deep water and picked up the struggling animal around its shell. It was the first time she had ever held a turtle before.
Bringing it back to shore, she sat with the turtle, now nicknamed "Deborah", in the shallows while her mum, Kylie Keioskie, went to find help.
"I was holding its head up...I held its nose out of the water so he could breathe."
Ms Keioskie was in luck, and representatives from the Mackay District Turtle Watch Association (MDTWA), were soon at the beach in their turtle buggy.
MDTWA spokeswoman Fay Griffin said it was turtle season and common to see more turtles in need of assistance.
"It was what we call a floater. This can happen for a number of reasons... it might have air in its gut, or have some type of virus," she said.
"Deborah" has been taken to Townsville's turtle hospital at Reef HQ.