A Massachusetts couple could face a $5,000 fine after they rushed to rescue an injured baby seal at a Marshfield Beach.
Mark Hodgon was scuba diving at about 1:30 p.m. when he found the baby seal covered in shark bite marks. He said the seal was barely floating and breathing laboriously.
"You could just tell his whole body was in the shark,” Hodgon said. “It had to have been."
Hodgon swam closer with a raft and helped the seal onto it then swam back to shore to take a better look at its injuries. Pictures of the event show the pup kissing Hodgon on the chin.
When a New England Aquarium volunteer arrived, they refused to touch or aid the seal in any way.
“They're supposed to be there to help these little animals and they did nothing, nothing," said Mary, Hodgdon's fiance.
They asked how the couple knew the seal was hurt and if they had taken an X-ray of it before placing it back in the water.
Touching a seal is a violation of the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act for which the couple could face a fine. While the aquarium volunteer said the couple’s intention was amiable, they suggested calling the U.S. Coastal Guard instead.
"I think [the seal] probably drowned,” Mary said. “He's been on my mind every minute since Sunday.”