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Leatherback turtle rescued from fishing line, Coast Guard says

Coast Guard Station Montauk crew members assisted in

Coast Guard Station Montauk crew members assisted in untangling a leatherback turtle in Montauk on Monday, June 15, 2015. Crew members were able to cut the turtle out of a lobster trap line and the turtle swam away, showing no signs of injury. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

A Coast Guard crew from Montauk rescued an ensnared giant sea turtle discovered tangled in a lobster trap line in Fort Pond Bay on Monday.

The turtle, a leatherback, was found by the fishing vessel Captain Ron, based in Montauk -- and the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command was notified at 1:30 p.m.

A 25-foot response boat was launched to the scene, at the mouth of the Sound.

Crew members found the turtle entangled in the line and were able to cut the line to free it, the Coast Guard said in a news release.

The turtle showed no signs of injury, officials said, and swam off after being freed.

"The turtle would have most likely died if the crew did not respond to assist," a crew member from Station Montauk, Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Foster, said in a statement, adding: "The line was around the turtle's neck and fin and was getting tighter."

Officials did not estimate the size of the rescued sea turtle.

The leatherback, the largest living sea turtle, is an endangered species regularly found off the coast of New England and Long Island, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website. Leatherbacks can grow to as long as 6 feet and can weigh up to 1,300 pounds.

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