DNR officials rescue sea turtle caught by hook on Tybee Island pier

A sea turtle is back in the open water thanks to the help of police and experts with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Tybee Island police officers say they were performing foot patrols of a pier when they saw that a fisherman had accidentally hooked the poor turtle. 

After calling for help from the DNR experts, the officers and area fisherman lifted the turtle out of the water and onto the pier.

Once the turtle was on land, they were able to remove the hook from its mouth.

The now-freed turtle was able to get back in the water and swim to its heart's content. 

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(Tybee Island Police Department)

Sea turtles have been rare around the Peach State, but last year, the species set a new state record for the number of nests found on the coast.

In August, the Georgia DNR said that more than 3,960 loggerhead sea turtle nests have been counted since May.

Giant loggerhead sea turtles are protected as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. Every summer they crawl onto beaches from Florida to the Carolinas to lay their eggs. An army of volunteers in each state works to record each nest and protect it from predators.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.