SURF CITY -- The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center welcomed 16 cold-stunned sea turtles from New England last week. 

Cold-stunning happens when sea turtles are exposed to prolonged cold water temperatures. It makes them weak and more vulnerable to illness, animal attacks and infections. 

Volunteers with the center say the turtles are very thing and have some raspy breathing, which could mean pneumonia. They're treating them with fluids, eye drops, antibiotics and cold laser therapy. 

Founder, Jean Beasley says it's a bittersweet moment when they're fully recovered and released back into the ocean. 

"There are tears in a lot of eyes as we say goodbye to these turtles. But on the other hand, we know that the best place for them to be is home, and home is not in a tank in a rehab facility," says Beasley. 

It will take at least a few months before the turtles will be ready to be released back into the ocean.