Beaufort firefighters removed a 3-foot-long alligator from a YMCA swimming pool.

The Beaufort Gazette reports Saturday that employees found the gator lounging in the deep end of the YMCA's outdoor pool May 14 as they prepared to open it for the season.

No one was in the pool at the time.

Employees sought help from the fire station across the street. Firefighters used a lifeguard rescue to bring the alligator to the surface, and then used a piece of rope to secure the animal until a wildlife control contractor arrived.

The alligator was released into a neighboring estuary.