A leatherback sea turtle that had become entangled was rescued Sunday by the Vineyard Haven harbor master and the Wampanoag tribe natural resources department.

The entangled turtle was spotted about 100 yards off Lambert’s Cove early Sunday afternoon by a group of local fishermen, who called in to the harbor master.

Earlier reports that the turtle was entangled in line attached to a lobster pot were corrected Tuesday morning by Jason Gale, an Island lobsterman who keeps pots in the area. He said in fact the line was attached to a buoy in a mooring field off Lambert's Cove.

“You can tell from the photograph by the stick attached to the line,” said Mr. Gale told the Gazette. The lobsterman said he had called the harbor master as well to correct the report.

Marine mammal entanglements in fixed gear such as lobster pots have been much in the news lately.

In a written account of the rescue that took place Sunday afternoon, assistant harbor master Will White said the call came in at approxiamtely 1:17 p.m.

“The turtle was in distress, unable to swim away,” he wrote in part.

He said harbor master John Crocker and tribe natural resources technician Andrew Jacobs met at the Tashmoo landing and arrived on the scene at approximately 1:30 p.m.

The fishermen who had made the call were nearby, monitoring the turtle, he said.

“We captured the creature by hand and succeeded in cutting away the rope and buoy which had tangled around the sea turtle’s flipper,” Mr. White said.

Mr. Jacobs estimated that the leatherback sea turtle was over 300 pounds, the largest one he had ever seen. He said the turtle had chafe marks on its flipper from the rope, but did not appear to be disabled upon release.

Mr. Crocker said this was the first time he has had to free an entangled sea turtle near his harbor — though he said it is not uncommon for them to appear during the summer.

“Unfortunately it’s a fact of life with marine animals,” Mr. Crocker said. “This is just something that happens. And when it does, we take care of it.”

The scene was cleared at 1:51 p.m., Mr. Crocker said.

“And the turtle swam away.”

This story has been changed from an earlier version that was based on a report from the harbor master that the turtle was entangled in lobster pot line.