Published: Sep 20, 2011 10:39 PM EDT

PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Cameron, his wife Canda and daughter Jessica were out in their boat recently in the Florida Keys off Marathon when they saw something on the surface of the water. Sheriff Cameron said, “It looked like a fishing bobber and a black plastic bag with some seaweed on it. At closer look, I thought I saw a fish wrapped up in the seaweed. It turned out to be a baby sea turtle that was all wrapped up in fishing line attached to a bobber and had seaweed and a garbage bag wrapped up in it too.”

The Sheriff said, “We picked the turtle and debris out of the water with a net and found that the fishing line was wrapped tightly around the turtle’s neck and left front flipper several times. While my daughter held the turtle, I slowly started cutting the line away from its head and flipper. It took a while since there was so much line and we didn’t want to hurt the turtle.” 

“At first the turtle was scared and tried to get away from us,” Sheriff Cameron said, “but it seemed that he instantly figured out that we were helping him and he laid perfectly still while I cut the line away. He didn’t even try to bite me while I worked around his head. After we cleared all the line away from the turtle, we checked it over real good to see if the line had cut into his skin. Seeing no injuries, we held him back in the water to see if he could swim on his own. After a few seconds he took off like a shot, so we knew he was fine.” Sheriff Cameron concluded, “He was a real cute little guy.”