(CBS NEWS) — A group of Maine lobstermen spotted a deer in an unusual place Monday: open waters. The men quickly took action to save the animal, which had somehow ventured 5 miles away from shore, and hauled their catch of the day to safety.
“Found this little guy 5 miles offshore today drifting farther away from land,” lobsterman Ren Dorr said in a Facebook post. “Couldn’t let the poor guy suffer and drown so we brought him aboard.”
The seaman told local Maine outlet the Bangor Daily News that he and his two-man crew hoisted the deer aboard by holding onto its antlers and to the hair on its back.
“He laid right down like a dog. He was beat out, shaking, shivering. I’m sure he was froze,” Dorr told the outlet.
Dorr added that due to the tide, the young animal had likely been in the water for at least six hours.
“I’m sure he [had been] going from island to island or shore to an island and he couldn’t see or got caught in the current,” the lobsterman said. “He was just kind of going with the flow. He wasn’t trying to fight it or swim with it. He was just kind of floating along.”
The lobsterman said in the Facebook post that the crew “sailed him half hour to land and dropped him off on the beach! And sailed back out to haul!”
He included images of the rescue in the post, which showed the small deer swimming in the ocean, the men hauling it onto the boat, and the animal swimming to safety close to shore.
“He was gonna die, 100 percent. There’s no ifs, ands or buts — he was a goner,” Dorr told the Bangor Daily News. “I couldn’t have that on my conscience, obviously. That’s not the guy that I am, so I figured I’d bring him in.”