Sparky the seal was cut free from a fishing line Saturday by Huntington Beach police officers who were unable to contact animal control due to the late night hour, the department stated in a Facebook post.
A seal in distress was reported by beachgoers to the Huntington Beach Police Department at 10:30 p.m. on Friday.
Responding officers found a fishing line wrapped around the seal’s neck and thought the animal may be choking to death, the post stated.
After failed attempts to contact animal control, the watch commander on scene organized a group of officers to wrangle the seal they “affectionately named Sparky” and cut it free.
“His neck was deeply cut by a snagged fishing line and he was struggling to breath,” the post stated.
A flashlight was used to temporarily blind Sparky so officers could tackle the fearful seal, wrap it in a blanket and remove the fishing line.
“Sparky soon surrendered and relaxed as the officers were getting pounded by the white water. They were able to cut the fishing line using a seatbelt cutter and freed Sparky. He immediately began breathing with ease and when the officers released their grip he shuffled back into the surf and happily swam out to sea,” the post stated.
A crowd applauded the officers, who included Lt. O’Brien, Sgt. Wiederin, Officer Brett Gillham and Officer Trevor Jackson, according to the post.