Watch as deer is rescued from sea at Lizard Point

Tourists and locals launched their own rescue operation after a deer was spotted swimming in the sea off Lizard Point. The wayward roe was unable to get back to high ground and onlookers feared it would drown if they did not take action. The Lizard beauty spot, the mainland’s most southerly point, is normally the place to spot sea birds and marine wildlife such as seals – not deer.

Terry Thirlaway was at the point taking photographs of seals for the Cornwall Seal Research Group when the animal was spotted in the water on Thursday.

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He said: “Someone said they’d seen a deer and I went to see which way it had gone. I met a couple walking their dog who said it was just down by the point. Their dog had scared it and it had gone into the sea.

The roe deer in the sea off Lizard PointThe roe deer in the sea off Lizard Point

“There was nowhere for it to go.

It would either have had to swim to Kynance or come back into Polpeor Cove, but it wouldn’t have done that because there were too many people around.” Terry was able to clamber down on the rocks and could see the deer below him. With no way to get back up the cliff, the deer was stuck.

The roe deer (centre) swims in the sea off Lizard PointThe roe deer (centre) swims in the sea off Lizard Point

Terry said he was able to shoo the deer back into the water while fisherman Adam Browning made his way round in his boat.

Fisherman Adam Browning brings his boat up to the deer swimming near Lizard PointFisherman Adam Browning brings his boat up to the deer swimming near Lizard Point

Adam steered his boat alongside the frightened animal and managed to haul it on board.

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Fisherman Adam Browning brings his boat up to the deer swimming near Lizard PointFisherman Adam Browning brings his boat up to the deer swimming near Lizard Point

Tina Wales, who runs the gift shop Mungo Lils on Lizard Point, watched the drama infold.

She said: “To be fair, I don’t know how Adam managed to pull him aboard on his own.”

Fisherman Adam Browning cradles the deer after hauling it onto his boat near Lizard PointFisherman Adam Browning cradles the deer after hauling it onto his boat

The moment the deer was brought ashore was captured on camera by tourist Trev Powe.

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Tina said: “Everyone helped, including the young guys from the cafe, and were on the beach to help haul it ashore which was very difficult. Lots of tourists witnessed it and it was a great effort by the team and workers at the Lizard Point. It was a huge effort by all and lovely to see.”

The RSPCA were called, but Tina added: “No one responded from the RSPCA and the deer was getting distressed, even though they had its head covered, so it was decided that the guys would take it up to a nearby field in the back of a truck and it was released. “The deer ran off to swim another day.”

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Deer are resident on the Lizard, although rarely seen. There have been reports of deer swimming across the Helford River and one was recently found entangled in the nets at a football pitch at Mullion.

At the beginning of June a lamb which had fallen down cliffs at Holywell Bay was rescued after spending four days isolated on a ledge by the sea. A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: “It’s great to hear a deer was rescued by those at the scene off the coast of The Lizard. “When our call handler contacted the members of the public who’d been in touch to find out more information, we were told the deer had thankfully been rescued so we were able to redirect officers on duty in Cornwall towards helping other animals in urgent need.

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“We are always busy helping animals, so we have to prioritise the ones in the greatest need at the time.

We try to get to as many call outs as we can – but time and resources are constraints we have to deal with on a daily basis. “As a charity we rely on support from the public and so have limited resources. We receive a call from a concerned member of the public every 30 seconds.

To put this into perspective, in 2017, we investigated 141,760 complaints and rescued 114,584 animals.

“We will always investigate concerns for animal welfare and encourage anyone with concerns to call us in confidence on 0300 1234 999.”

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