Fisherman Leaps From Pier to Rescue Sea Turtle Snagged on Hook

Offbeat - Inside Edition Staff

Unbelievable video shows a Florida fisherman bravely leaping into the sea to save a turtle that had latched onto a line.

The video, posted to Facebook by witness Donald Zinn Jr., shows a fisherman identified as Austin Selby on the back of a loggerhead sea turtle working to free it from a hook on Monday in Venice.

"Huge sea turtle saved by brave team of fisherman at the Venice fishing pier," Zinn wrote, noting that Selby was joined by two others in the struggle to save the turtle. "Only tragedy was the loss of my wire cutters."

Angler Rob Merlino, whose hook was the one that snagged the turtle, said his reel wasn't strong enough to take in the reptile.

"The turtle was in charge,” Merlino told the Herald-Tribune.

That's when, to Merlino's shock, Selby volunteered to jump in. "Are you sure you want to do that?" Merlino asked.

"He said yes. I said, 'Go nuts,'" Merlino said.

And the video tells the rest of the story, which ended after Zinn's pliers were dropped to Selby, who used them to free the turtle from the hook.

While everything turned out okay, Florida Fish and Wildlife recommends calling them rather than taking things into one's own hands in such situations.

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