VIDEO: Coast Guard saves entangled sea turtle off NJ - New York News

VIDEO: Coast Guard saves entangled sea turtle off NJ

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The United States Coast Guard has released video showing a crew saving a huge sea turtle from a dangerous, tangled situation off the New Jersey coast.

The video shows Coast Guard members from Station Cape May, New Jersey, and an official from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigatine untangling the leatherback turtle from fishing gear on Saturday, August 9, 2014. The Coast Guard estimates the turtle weighed about 800 pounds.

As soon as the turtle was free of the gear, it swam away, appearing unharmed.

"Everybody was excited. It was one of my better experiences being in the Coast Guard, just seeing the animal so close and helping marine life," Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Giannaris said in a news release. "Everyone was pretty energized about the whole experience."

A recreational fishing boat had spotted the struggling turtle and radioed it in to the Coast Guard, which dispatched a 45-foot response boat. The crew found the turtle about 30 miles offshore from Corson's Inlet.

A leatherback, the world's largest turtle species, can grow to 2,000 pounds and up to 6.5 feet long, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Marine Mammal Stranding Center is a nonprofit group that rescues marine mammals and sea turtles that get stranded or hurt in the waters off the Jersey coast.

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