Cutter George Cobb to assist in release of large sea lion

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – The Coast Guard Cutter George Cobb is scheduled to work with personnel from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center to release a rehabilitated sea lion back into the wild off the coast of San Clemente Island Monday.The sea lion, nicknamed “Captain Hook” when he was originally picked up, was first rescued in October in Newport Beach by members of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. When he was picked up the first time, he had more than 70 hooks and lines stuck in him. A week after being released in the wild, he was picked up again Nov. 19 near the Newport Dune area with additional hooks in him. For almost a month the sea lion has been treated and rehabilitated by the staff and volunteers at the center so he can be released back into the wild.

The Center is teaming up with the Coast Guard because of the great size of the sea lion. While in rehabilitation, “Captain Hook” has gained more than 200 pounds total. Now that he weighs more than 700 pounds, he requires a larger boat, such as the Cobb, for his successful release.

The Coast Guard Gutter George Cobb is a 175-foot buoy tender homeported on Terminal Island in San Pedro, Calif., with many dedicated missions including search and rescue, maritime law enforcement and aids to navigation.

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a non-profit organization located in Laguna Beach. The staff and volunteers have been rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing marine mammals along Orange County beaches for the past 35 years. The center is currently the only licensed facility to medically treat these animals, which are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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