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A group of lobstermen made an incredible catch Monday morning when they pulled a deer out of the ocean about 5 miles off the coast of Maine.

Ren Dorr, 31, couldn’t believe his eyes when he spotted a pair of antlers in the water.

Dorr is a commercial lobsterman who lives in Harrington, Maine, and has seen deer swim in shallow waters before. “But never that far out,” he said. “His head was sticking out and he was drifting.”

Dorr said the deer wouldn’t have been able to swim to safety because the current out there was way too strong.

“He was going to be a goner for sure,” he said.

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So instead of setting lobster traps, their focus turned to saving the stranded deer.

Ren Dorr (left) and Shawn Dowling helped the deer.
Ren Dorr (left) and Shawn Dowling helped the deer.Jared Thaxter

It took a few tries, but they eventually managed to haul the deer onto the lobster boat. Once the deer was on board, they weren’t sure how he would like being on the boat and wondered if he would get spooked or try to run away. But the deer remained remarkably calm during the boat ride.

The deer was surprisingly calm on the boat ride back to shore.
The deer was surprisingly calm on the boat ride back to shore.Jared Thaxter

“He stood up one time, saw that we still weren’t on land, and he laid back down,” Dorr said.

Once the lobster boat was close enough to shore, Dorr and his buddy Shawn Dowling helped the deer off the vessel, while their friend Jared Thaxter snapped photos.

When the deer left the boat and got back in the water, he knew exactly what to do.

“He saw land and headed right for it,” Dorr said.

Dorr and Dowling helped the deer off the boat within easy swimming distance of the shore.
Dorr and Dowling helped the deer off the boat within easy swimming distance of the shore. Jared Thaxter
When the deer left the boat and got back in the water, he knew exactly what to do.
When the deer left the boat and got back in the water, he knew exactly what to do.Jared Thaxter

As the lobster boat sailed away from the shore, Dorr said they looked back and saw the deer was safely back on land and “feeding on the edge of the woodline,” enjoying a well-deserved snack.


Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.

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