ST. GEORGE — A federally endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle was rescued Thursday after it became entangled in lobster gear near Eastern Egg Rock in Muscongus Bay.

Kenneth Stewart, a spokesman for the United States Coast Guard station in South Portland, said the Maine Marine Patrol was contacted around 2 p.m. by the operator of a pleasure boat.

The Coast Guard was also notified and sent a 25-foot fast rescue boat out of Boothbay Harbor to the remote island, which is located offshore from the fishing village of St. George and the Lincoln County town of Bristol.

Stewart said officers from the Coast Guard and Marine Patrol were able to free the turtle from lobster gear and observed the creature swim away unharmed.

Stewart said the turtle which is known for its lack of a bony shell – its ink blue carapace is covered by skin and oily flesh – was about five feet in diameter.

Leatherbacks are the largest of all the sea turtles, and can dive to depths of 4,200 feet. They have been known to stay underwater for up to 85 minutes.

Leatherbacks are currently designated as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.