Coast Guard Station Ponce Inlet rescues brown pelican

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two Guardians from Coast Guard Station Ponce Inlet, Fla., rescued an entangled pelican Sunday morning near the Intracoastal Waterway in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Josh Field and Seaman Apprentice Bob Parks of Station Ponce Inlet arrived on scene with a dip net to capture and free the bird of the plastic around its neck. Parks quickly covered the bird with the net to prevent it from escaping. Field then controlled the bird and removed if from the net while Parks removed the plastic from around the pelican’s neck, which could have caused the bird to die.

The rescue began when a New Smyrna Beach resident noticed a brown pelican on a neighbor’s dock on the Intracoastal Waterway with a tightly wrapped piece of plastic around the bird’s neck, which was also preventing it from flying.

The resident then contacted rescue authorities in New Smyrna Beach to assist the bird; however, when the rescue unit arrived the bird escaped into the waterway. Later in the morning the pelican was spotted again and the Coast Guard was notified.

In addition to the Coast Guard’s missions of protecting the public and security of maritime interests at, the Coast Guard also has the responsibility to protect wildlife and the environment.

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