Close Encounters Man vs. Nature

Surfer dismisses risk and untangles fishing line from sea turtle

Unidentified Good Samaritan avoids the powerful jaws of the loggerhead sea turtle and rescues it alongside a Florida pier, then surfs away

A loggerhead sea turtle was drowning alongside the Cocoa Beach Pier in Florida on Monday afternoon. It was tangled with monofilament fishing line and was having a difficult time taking breaths. Nearby, a surfer in a white, long-sleeved T-shirt and wide-brimmed hat recognized the turtle was in distress and paddled over to offer a hand, despite its dangerous bite.

The loggerhead sea turtle, an endangered and protected species, is known for its large and powerful jaws that are used to crush its prey.

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“Loggerhead sea turtles have a bite force so powerful that they can easily tear through a conch shell, a mainstay of the turtle’s diet,” the Brevard Times wrote.

Unafraid, the unidentified surfer started untangling the fishing line, on which you can see a couple of sinkers. Though unclear, we presume the turtle was snagged by a fisherman on the pier, though it might have gotten tangled in discarded fishing line as the ABC News guy suggested in the above video.

Anyway, the surfer finally freed the turtle from the line, at which point someone, presumably the fisherman who snagged the turtle, can be heard saying, “Thank you.”

With that, the turtle swam away happily and the surfer casually caught the next wave into the beach, as if it were just another day.

Here’s the entire rescue by the surfer from a YouTube video posted by the Brevard Times: