Lifeguards help rescue huge sea turtle hooked in San Clemente

Lifeguards helped rescue a giant sea turtle after it was accidentally hooked by an angler off the San Clemente pier.

San Clemente Marine Safety Officer Ian Burton says it took three people to hoist the 3-foot turtle from the water and hold it down to remove the hook.

He estimated it weighed about 150 pounds.

Burton says the turtle quickly swam away as soon as it was returned to the waves.

Ocean Institute Husbandry Director Julianne Steers identified the creature as a green sea turtle — likely an older one, based on shell markings.

The Orange County Register reports green sea turtles can weigh up to 700 pounds and live to be 80 years old.

They are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Dawn Kamber