Surfers rescued two sea birds tangled in fishing lines off Newport Pier on Thursday morning.
A witness said that two surfers wrestled the cormorants ashore after one was snagged by a hook, and the other weighed down by a fishing sinker.
Lori McDonald was in the pier parking lot when she saw one of the black birds on the sand, which is unusual. A group of people encircled it so it wouldn't try to escape with a lead weight attached to its claw. One local surfer was hugging the other bird, she said, trying to keep it calm after a hook nearly caught its eye.
"It was a tussle," McDonald said, for the surfers bring the two birds from the surf spot Blackies onto the sand. She called the surfers "the three heroes."
Nearly an hour after someone called Newport Beach Animal Control, McDonald said, officers arrived and moved the birds into cages. Animal Control drove the birds to the Wetland & Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach.
A representative from the wildlife center could not be reached for the bird's condition.
— Mike Reicher