CAPE MAY, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say a sea turtle entangled in a fishing trap line and being circled by sharks off New Jersey was rescued by a Coast Guard cutter. The Coast Guard says the stricken animal was reported Thursday afternoon 11 miles (18 kilometers) southeast of Cape May by the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, which works to free stranded animals along the coast of the Garden State.

The cutter Shearwater, an 87-foot patrol boat, headed to the scene and saw sharks encircling the turtle, so a team in a small boat was sent to circle the ailing animal until the sharks dispersed. Officials said crew members then cautiously approached the turtle and cut it free.

The cutter’s officer in charge, Master Chief Petty Officer Anthony Martinez, called it “the proudest day I’ve had on this cutter.”

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