Penlee lifeboat come to the rescue of distressed deer in the water

Lifeboats News Release

This morning (Friday 19 June) at 9.30am the volunteer crew at RNLI Penlee launched to rescue a deer that was in distress in Penzance harbour.

RNLI Penlee

The rescued deer safe in a blanket

On Friday morning, Patch Harvey, Coxswain Mechanic at the station, received a call from a Penlee volunteer crew member who was near Penzance Harbour at Ross Bridge and could see a deer swimming around trying to find its way out. The deer appeared to be swimming competently at this time and the tide was dropping so they thought the wild animal may be able to get onto dry land soon.

The deer was then startled by the noises of the harbour – moving boats, Scillonian maintenance workers and the general public passing by – and so it began to swim out through the gap.

At 9.30am, Penlee Inshore lifeboat was launched to rescue the deer from the water. Local swimmers at Battery Rocks saw the deer swimming around and pointed the volunteer crew in the right direction.

The crew then calmly approached the deer and lifted it into the lifeboat, wrapping it in a blanket and lightly covering its head to reduce stress.

When they arrived back at the station, Patch phoned the RSPCA but unfortunately nobody was able to help them immediately so they were given permission to release the deer into an open field. They drove the deer up to Paul, a village just beyond Newlyn, and released it safely into the wild.

Patch Harvey, Coxswain Mechanic, said:

‘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.’

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


Notes to editors

  • Please find attached a photo of the rescued deer.
  • Video footage of the rescue may be available later today

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Marianne Quinn, Regional Media Officer on Marianne_Quinn@rnli.org.uk or 07786 668847, or Elaine Trethowan, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07704669406. Out of hours please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or PressOffice@rnli.org.uk.

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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