Man saves manatee caught in crab trap

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A man saved a manatee after it got tangled in the rope of a crab trap in Safety Harbor and it was all caught on video.

A group of Pokémon Go players were in the area when they spotted the manatee in distress Monday afternoon.

The manatee had rope wrapped around its head and was thrashing around. That's when one witness jumped into action and decided to try to free it.

“I’m a little concerned to be honest with you,” Christopher Beksha could be heard saying as he approaches a manatee in distress near the pier at the Safety Harbor Marina Monday afternoon. ”This ain’t exactly what I would volunteer to do but this I what happens you when love animals." 

The man was able to get a knife to cut the rope, but not after a few minutes of struggling with the manatee.

“As soon as I got to it and got close I realized how bad it was it was making intentions in its neck it didn’t appear to be doing well,” Beksha said.  

So he wasted no time, taking matters and the manatee’s life in his own hands.

“Immediately I thought we could call FWC but how fast will it be until they get here,” Beksha said.

“I know they're docile and they're nice animals when something is in fear for its life it’s going to freak out and those tails, they're powerful,” he noted.

As he wrestles to cut the rope loose, a crowd gathered.  Many were nearby playing Pokemon Go. 

“I see him jump in that was very heroic what he did,” said witness Ramsay Macleish.

“I never realized the power of these things until I tried to grab the lasso from its neck,” Beksha said.

Others eventually joined him, finally after several minutes they freed the frightened manatee.

“To get it free and know it’s going to survive it’s a great feeling on its own,” Beksha told FOX 13.

He says the manatee was able to swim off, and appeared to be just fine.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission asks that people report any manatee found in distress. The agency's wildlife alert line is 1-888-404-3922.