I would have reported the deckhand. That was completely uncalled for, and it sounds like we have a potential sadist amongst the ranks. I may have even intervened - can’t stand seeing animals being abused. Back in the day I helped free one, since the deckhands were all busy unhooking fish, and while doing so I got beaked on the nose really good. It bled quite a bit for a while, and 30 years later I still have a very visible scar. Regardless, when the bird was free I gently tossed it in the air as the OP suggested - the bird was just scared and didn’t deserve to be hurt and I was mature enough to realize it.