Sunday, 3 February 2008

Lifeboat crew save deer from drowning

LIFEBOATMEN in Minehead were called to one of their more unusual rescue operations - to save a deer from drowning.
Coastguards alerted the lifeboat crew after receiving a call to say a deer had been seen entering the water off Culvercliffe on Thursday morning, January 31.
The station’s new Atlantic 85 Lifeboat was launched with helmsman Adam Bonar in command.
The crew arrived quickly spotted the young deer about 330 yards offshore and they could see the animal was extremely tired and distressed.
A decision was made to ‘coax’ it back to shore, where a team from Porlock Coastguards was waiting to retrieve it.
However, as soon as the deer reached land, it immediately returned to the water where the lifeboat crew again tried to encourage it to go ashore.
On the second attempt the startled animal made for some bushes just off the beach where it stayed for a time.
After the lifeboatmen again tried to catch the animal, it made a third attempt to swim away and this time the lifeboat managed to come alongside it and recover the deer and secure it to be carried back to the lifeboat station.
The deer stayed on board until the lifeboat was recovered and it was then checked over by a local vet.
Once the crew were confident the deer was in good health, although wet and tired, they took it to North Hill, Minehead, and released it.
Mr Bonar said: “We get called to a wide range of incidents but this was one of the more unusual.
“The deer proved quite tricky to recover and did not seem overly appreciative of its trip in a lifeboat.”
  • Our photograph shows Adam Bonar with Paul Marsh and Richard Gay holding the deer. The fourth crewmember who was present throughout the rescue but is not pictured was Phil Sanderson. Photo submitted.

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