Cutter Edisto helps wayward sea lion

As part of the service’s living marine resources mission, the Coast Guard teams up with a variety of organizations to aid in protecting and responding to distressed animals, including sea lions. Such was the case for Southern California crews with Franklin, a wayward sea lion.

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Saving the life of an injured fisherman or a boater lost at sea is nothing new for the Coast Guard. But every once in a while the Coast Guard gets to save another kind of life – an animal’s.

Franklin waits on a pier at Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach to be lifted aboard Coast Guard Cutter Edisto for transport and release near Catalina Island, Calif. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Connie Terrell.
Franklin waits on a pier at Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach to be lifted aboard Coast Guard Cutter Edisto for transport and release near Catalina Island, Calif. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Connie Terrell.

As part of the service’s living marine resources mission, the Coast Guard teams up with a variety of organizations to aid in protecting and responding to distressed animals, including sea lions. Such was the case for Southern California crews with Franklin, a wayward sea lion.

Franklin’s journey with the Coast Guard started when he got stuck up a creek in Irvine, Calif. That is where rescuers initially found him – all 500 pounds. Officials from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center responded to the call and transported him to a local beach.

But despite being brought back to the beach, Franklin again found himself in danger just a few days later when he was spotted five miles inland in a flood control channel.

After examining Franklin to make sure he was not injured, wildlife experts decided they had to take him farther out to sea; and that’s where the Coast Guard was called in.

Rescue workers from the center worked with the Coast Guard to come up with a safe way to transport Franklin. After careful planning, Coast Guard Cutter Edisto met with the center and the sea lion in San Pedro, Calif. Together they transited out to Catalina Island.

A California sea lion named Franklin swims in the ocean near Catalina Island, Calif., after Coast Guard members and a team from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center released him from aboard Coast Guard Cutter Edisto. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Henry G. Dunphy.
A California sea lion named Franklin swims in the ocean near Catalina Island, Calif., after Coast Guard members and a team from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center released him from aboard Coast Guard Cutter Edisto. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Henry G. Dunphy.

Once there, in waters with plenty of fish, Franklin was out of harm’s way and back in the wild.

It takes more than just the Coast Guard and partner wildlife agencies to protect the marine environment. Many of the cases the service responds to is in response to the public alerting local authorities.

When you are on or near the water, be aware of the local laws and regulations and whether you are in an environmentally protected area. Always be respectful to the rules in place like no-wake zones and dispose of your trash properly. And if you see violations or emergencies, report them to your local Coast Guard station or state wildlife agency. Do your part to keep the waters safe for Franklin and our nation’s marine life.

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