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Wild deer rescued from drowning by boaters (PHOTOS)

Dogsarefamily_thumb By Dogs Are Family | October 21, 2013 | Comments (18)

Deer swam towards a boat

Tom Satre and his family were cruising aboard Tom's boat the Alaska Quest in Taku Inlet in Alaska when they saw four deer swimming towards their charter boat.

The juvenile Sitka black-tail deer were obviously in distress and cold and tired battling 2 foot white-capped waves.

Deer swam towards a boat

There was a strong wind in the Inlet and the deer were cold and tired. They were desperately looking for somewhere to go, but they were still around 1.2 miles (2 km) from shore. Tom and his family could see that the deer were close to drowning and decided to help.

"They swam right toward the boat," Tom said. "Then they started to circle the boat. They were looking up like they needed help." Tom knew they had to get the deer out of the water if they were to survive. But how to get them onboard?

Deer jump into boat from frigid water

"I formed a lasso with the mooring line and dropped it around their heads one at a time," said Tom. "They were about 85 pounds (39 kg), sopping wet. We were fortunate to have a low swim step at the stern, and I was able to pull them onboard. If we had to haul them over the side, I couldn’t have done it."

Deer jump into boat from frigid waterDeer jump into boat from frigid water

The deer willingly came onboard and sat on the deck. One of the deer was hypothermic so Tom administered massage to warm him. "The last one was in really poor shape. He was very hypothermic. I massaged him for 20 minutes trying to warm him up. He bleated like a little lamb. I think he was appreciative."

Deer were rescued by Tom Satre and his familyDeer were rescued by Tom Satre and his family

Tom's sister Sharon Kelly, his daughter Anna and brother Tim helped him with the deer.

It was an hour journey to the shore and when they arrived at Taku Harbor the deer had warmed up. One quickly jumped onto the dock and found its way into the forest.

A deer had to be wheelbarowed to shore after nearly drowning

Tom's sister Sharon Kelly, his daughter Anna and brother Tim helped him prompt the other deer out of the boat.

The last deer who had been hypothermic had to be put in a wheelbarrow and pushed off the boat. But the wheelbarrow had a flat so they waited at the dock as the deer warmed up enough to get to his feet.

Deer warming up after being rescued from drowningDeer warming up after being rescued from drowning

With the deer safely on land, the family called the experience that occurred in October of 2010 one of those "defining moments in life".

Tom Satre helps a deer get back on his feetTom Satre helps a deer get back on his feet


Rescuers of the deer

Story and photos reprinted with permission from the Satre family. Tom Satre runs Alaska Quest Charters eco-tours from his boat the Alaska Quest.





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Comments on this Article

you helped them and in return they helped you in your heart
How absolutely heart warming. After reading some other horror stories, it is nice to know that there are still good people out there...
Bless you for your kindness and for saving those deer!!!
What a selfless act of kindness. Awesome to see the deer heading towards the boat telling all aboard they needed help. So wonderful that they survived and were able to trot off into the woods. Thank you for you kindness. Wonder how many times you've see those same deer during the last three years... :0)
I've read this story previously on this site, but I really love it. Thank you for helping the deer!
What a great story, love that they were rescued from the water. Those deer were so thankful!
Beautiful and rugged wild Alaska. Who's breathtaking views and landscapes charm the heart into imagining what the world must have looked like when new. Perhaps it was just lucky chance that brought these two parties together, or a destiny brought about by a sense locked deep within our DNA. Something that says to us that all life is one, and when we are clear of mind and heart, it draws us together when there is a need. Even when reading this story one could feel that calm peace that this family must have felt when they watched that last deer run off into the woods alive and free. Thank you for sharing this beautiful rescue with us.
God Bless all who were involved in saving these deers. Younare amazing!
Kind-hearted humans helping to preserve nature's wildlife. Faith in humanity = restored.
For me this is they way it was meant. We are Co-habitators here on this planet. And of course I love this family for doing this.
That has to be the best animal rescue story I have ever heard! Great one! I loved that there were pictures to share!
It's so wonderful to see compassion still exists..thank you guys! awesome save..
The deer sometimes try to escape from wolves by jumping in the water and swimming across to someplace else. Also, deer swim from one island to another among the thousands of islands here in the 17 million acres of the Tongass National Forest, a temperate rain forest in the Southeast Alaska Panhandle. Some deer swim to small islands to have their fawns so these might have been the year before's fawns now leaving their birth island heading to a bigger island as they look about 16 months old, ( born the previous June). http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/tongass/about-forest
We all need to hear about stories like this, it gives us hope , to know that there are still good people left in the world. Thank You !
I had seen the picture on the internet a while back of the deer curled up laying on the deck of the boat...but seeing the other pictures, and hearing the beautiful story is fantastic. Thx for sharing with the world. The Satre family and all are great people...they HAVE to be, to do this for animals...gotta luv them.
What a lovely family and what a nice story.
Wonderful thing they did! Wonder how they got in the water in the first place. I bet they didn't say. :)
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