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Lobstermen Rescue Deer That Had Somehow Drifted 'Five Miles Out To Sea'

Ren Dorr

A deer that somehow found itself drifting out to sea had a lucky escape as it was picked up by a crew of lobstermen five miles from land.


Ren Dorr of the F/V Ryss & Stace was setting traps with his crew off the coast of Maine when he spotted the unusual sight on Monday, November 4, 2019.

Mr Dorr said in a Facebook post:

“Found this little guy 5 miles offshore today drifting farther away from land."
“Couldn't let the poor guy suffer and drown so we brought him aboard and sailed him half hour to land and dropped him off on the beach!"


A deer aboard a boatThe deer was shaking and shivering when the crew got him aboard, Ren Dorr said (Ren Dorr)

Dorr and his crewmates, Shawn Dowling and Jared Thaxter, used a fishing gaff—a pole with a hook on the end used to grab lobster buoys or grab onto lobster pots in the water—to grip the young stag's antlers and managed to haul the approximately 100 pound buck on to the deck of the boat.

Mr Dorr told the Bangor Daily News:

"He was pretty beat out. I told my guys, 'We gotta grab him'."
"I didn't really figure it out. [I just said], 'Throw him in the boat and we're gonna take him to land.' They kind of looked at me like I had 10 heads."
“He laid right down like a dog. He was beat out, shaking, shivering. I'm sure he was froze."

Dorr added:

"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."
"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 crew then sailed around about a half to the nearest town, Harrington, Maine, where Dorr makes his home.

The crew dropped the deer close to the shore and watched him swim to land (Ren Dorr)

They dropped him as close to the shore as they could and watched him swim the rest of the way to land, before heading towards the woods.

Dorr said:

"I pulled up as close as I could, probably 40 or 50 yards [from shore], picked him up and set him over the side."
"I dropped him in, and he was kind of dazed there for a second. Then he turned and saw that land was right there, and he smoked it for land."

Once ashore, the crew of the F/V Ryss & Stace saw the buck lay down for a few seconds before going to the edge of the woods and beginning to feed.

Though the lobster Maine is famous for is found in the coastal waters from Eastern Canada to North Carolina, half of all American or Atlantic lobster sold in the United States is caught off the coast of the state of Maine. Together with wild blueberries, timber and potatoes, lobster is a major industry in Maine.

People and organizations around the state shared the story.

Mr Dorr said:

“He was gonna die, 100%."
“There's no ifs, ands or buts—he was a goner."
"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."