Man jumps off Venice Fishing Pier to save sea turtle

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On Monday, dramatic moments as a man jumped off the pier to save a hooked sea turtle.

"He says, 'I can jump in and try to get the hook out.' I said are you sure you want to do that? And he said yeah," Rob Merlino said about the man who jumped in.

 The young man swam towards the turtle and worked for awhile to get the hook out of the turtle's mouth. But, the turtle wasn't being cooperative.

"He was initially trying to steer it to the beach, but the turtle just wasn't having that," said Merlino.

While the turtle didn't want that but Mote Marine surely did.

"That gives us the chance to assess the turtle's health. For instance, this turtle was very thin so hopefully something else isn't going on but it is possible that it is," said Mote Marine's Shelby Isaacson.

Rob Merlino watched the whole thing, because, the line the turtle got ahold of was his.

"I like turtles. I don't like to see them hurt, that's why I'm glad the hook got out and there's no gear swimming around," said Merlino.

While the story has a happy ending, Mote Marine worries others might follow suit and jump into the water to do a hands-on animal rescue… but, that can be dangerous.

"That is shark infested waters. These are wild animals. The best thing to do is let a trained individual like our staff go ahead and look at the turtle," said Isaacson.

And the local fisherman, including Merlino agree.

"I certainly wouldn't recommend doing that but in this instance, it worked out for the best," said Merlino.