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Man Dives Into Ocean To Rescue 700 Pound Sea Turtle Tangled in Kelp


A leatherback sea turtle once again swims freely thanks to one man's quick thinking.

Read: Woman 'Saves' Turtle by Throwing it in Pond, Realizes It's a Tortoise: I Wasn't Trying to Kill It

Jason Kunewa, a native Hawaiian living in California, said he was about 15 miles off shore with Captain Bo Daniel. They are crewmen for DanaWharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching, and they were trying to spot some false killer whales.

Instead, Kunewa saw a 700 pound leatherback sea turtle, swimming near the surface of the water. He could see clearly that the animal was tangled in kelp.

Without hesitating, Kunewa grabbed a knife and dove in.

"I'm gonna jump off and grab onto him," Kunewa can be heard saying in the video.

The next shot, he was already in the water, cutting away at the kelp and freeing the giant animal. He navigated around the animal cautiously, careful not to cut its fin.

Kunewa told KCBS: "[The turtle] swam pretty fast away from me after that."

According to KCBS, the native Hawaiian has a tattoo of a sea turtle on his arm, a symbol of his aumakua, or 'family god.'

Read: Injured Tortoise Gets A Handpainted 3D Printed Shell

He said his aunt and grandmother often saved sea turtle. Now, Kunewa picks up the torch with his first save of the sacred animal.

"That was for you, auntie," the man said.

Watch: Off-Duty Police Officers Save 9-Foot Leatherback Sea Turtle Choked by Crab Trap