PREMIER Denis Napthine swooped to assist a distressed cormorant at Warrnambool breakwater on Friday morning while on official rounds announcing government grants.
Using skills gained in a previous career as a veterinary surgeon he helped free the bird which had been entangled in a discarded fishing line and hook.
Dr Napthine became involved in the rescue mission when a local resident spotted him heading back to his car after announcing $240,000 funding for a Lady Bay masterplan.
After assessing the forlorn bird sitting on rocks and telephoning local environmental officers he spotted an opportunity when Port Campbell resident Lynden Joiner arrived to launch a rubber dinghy.
"Do you think you can catch it for us," the Premier asked.
Without hesitation Mr Joiner grabbed an old bed sheet from his ute and threw it towards the bird. In the process he slipped into the water, but came up with the bird firmly in his hands.
With a pair of scissors from the parliamentary car Dr Napthine carefully cut the squawking bird free, checked it for injury and went on his way to the next appointment.
Mr Joiner nursed a few cuts from the rocks, but was nonplussed by the excitement.
"I'll just go and get a fresh set of clothes - it was all for a good cause," Mr Joiner said.
In January Dr Napthine came aid of a race horse after the float it was travelling in overturned on the Western Ring Road in Melbourne.