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Cutest captain: Sea lion caught in fishing gear hops on boat

A sea lion hitches a ride on a US Coast Guard boat crew off the coast of Newport Beach, Calif., on Saturday. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

A sea lion hitches a ride on a US Coast Guard boat crew off the coast of Newport Beach, Calif., on Saturday. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Officials say a juvenile sea lion was so happy to be rescued after getting hooked by fishing gear off Southern California, it jumped into a Coast Guard boat.

The Coast Guard says a Los Angeles-area crew on pulled the sea lion free Saturday near Newport Harbor.

Officials say after a little persuasion, the sea lion hopped aboard the boat and posed for photos.

The animal was handed off to a crew from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, which brought the sea lion to its rescue facility. It will be rehabilitated and released.

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