A fishing boat skipper was shocked to find young deer half a mile out to sea2021|00:45
A fishing boat skipper was shocked to find a young deer half a mile out to sea - and helped it onboard and back to shore.Mark Bowditch, 56, was on a mackerel fishing charter when he spotted the animal in fifty meter deep water.The deer, which appeared to be a young Red Deer Doe, was exhausted by the time it was brought onto the boat by Mark and his charter guest Morgan Lloyd."Initially I just thought it was a basking shark swimming slowly across the surface," he said."Then when I got a little bit closer and it turned, I saw it had two ears!"The event was observed closely by his partner Natasha and their three children, who were in the boat off Weymouth.Seeing the deer was in distress, Mark quickly brought his boat closer so they could bring the deer aboard."We got the mackerel lines in so it wouldn't get caught, and then made a sort of lasso to catch it with," he said."The current was going out, so it probably got caught in the tide and pulled out into the deep water.""If we hadn't come across it, it would probably have just drowned."Deer are strong swimmers and will often cross large rivers or parts of the sea to get past large roads or towns such as Weymouth.Mark added: "I've heard about Deer swimming across Weymouth harbour before from other Skippers, but I've never seen any."Mark, whose charter service is based on the pontoons in Weymouth near Bennett's chip shop, got in contact with harbour officials shortly after and released the deer near Nothe Gardens. He said: "It wasn't really ready to go because it was so tired, we tried to set it free by the trees but it came back to us."I gave it some attention and then tried to scare it off a bit, eventually it ran off."