'Distressed' deer rescued by Penlee Lifeboat after swimming in harbour near Penzance

A deer had a very lucky escape this week when it was rescued after getting into trouble off the Cornish coast.

On Friday 19 June, Penlee Lifeboat mechanic Patch Harvey received a call from one of the station's volunteers who had spotted an animal trying to find its way out of the harbour near Penzance.

The deer was swimming well, and staff thought it would be able to find dry land as the tide dropped.

RNLI crew say saving the deer stopped a member of the public putting themselves in danger to do so. Credit: PA

The deer was swimming well, and staff thought it would be able to find dry land as the tide dropped.

However the noise of moving boats, maintenance works and the public gathering on the harbour startled the wild animal. It caused the deer to swim away towards open water.

At 9.30am, the Penlee Lifeboat was dispatched to rescue the deer, and with help from local swimmers at Battery Rocks it was soon recovered by the crew.

The deer was wrapped in a blanket as Patch called the RSPCA, who confirmed it could be released into an open field.

After a drive to Newlyn, the deer was released in a field in Paul, a local village. Although the team were happy to help they say they were also motivated to stop members of the public from attempting to rescue the animal.

Safety is our top priority and to limit the risk of anybody else being hurt in this circumstance – we wanted to help the distressed animal and reduce the risk of a member of public attempting to rescue the deer themselves.

Patch Harvey, Coxswain Mechanic, Penlee Lifeboat

In an emergency at the coast, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.