WINDMILL POINT, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Marine Police rescued a stranded manatee from a pound net near Windmill Point in Northern Neck.

Paddleboarders reported the trapped manatee around noon on Sunday. Virginia Marine Police Officer (MPO) Neil Gunter located the manatee and called in the Virginia Stranding Team to access the animal’s health, and to help determine the best way to safety free the manatee.

MPO Gunter tied his patrol vessel to the pound net and monitored the manatee’s health and behavior. He also contacted the owner of the pound net.

Within the hour, the owner of the pound net arrived to assist MPO Gunter with lowering the fishing gear. By 2 p.m., the men had lowered the fishing gear, and the manatee was able to swim out unharmed to continue its journey back to the Chesapeake Bay.

“I was surprised to see a manatee up here, in fact I didn’t believe it when the call came in. But it was cool to see one in person and I am glad that I could help in its time of need. It’s what we do.”, said MPO Gunter.