5A sea lion pup hitched a ride on a Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol boat on Friday in Marina del Rey after deputies rescued a companion pup that appeared to be in ill health.

At about 8 a.m., deputies Matt Schwabe and Timothy Nancarrow spotted the two young sea lions huddled together on a boat being held at the Sheriff’s impound dock.

Schwabe and Wallerstein, initially dispatched to check whether the boat was taking on water, captured the unhealthy pup for transport to the Marina Animal Rescue in El Segundo.

They got an unexpected reaction from the other sea lion.

“While attempting to catch the smaller one, the larger of the two decided to jump onto our patrol vessel. Since he looked comfortable sunning himself, we decided not to disturb him any further,” Nancarrow wrote in an incident report. “We let him stay on board and ride back to the station with us.”

The pup stayed around the Sheriff’s dock for the rest of the day but left overnight.

The smaller pup is showing signs of recovery.

“He doing ok,” Marine Animal Rescue Director Peter Wallerstein said. “He was very emaciated, but now he’s much better.”

— Gary Walker