A BOAT skipper told how he helped rescue a deer which had tumbled into a harbour and got stuck.

Milo Miles said he was left 'surprised' after he spotted a young deer struggling in West Bay Harbour.

Milo, owner of Lyme Bay Rib Charter, was out cleaning boats with fellow skipper Richie Lawrence when he spotted an unusual figure in the water.

Milo said: “We were cleaning boats and as we came back into the inner harbour, I noticed something in the water which I initially assumed to be a seal. I noticed that it wasn’t and that it was in fact very clearly a deer with a small set of horns.”

He said the ‘terrified’ deer was trying to get out of the water and ended up ‘tangled in a couple of mooring lines and was struggling.’

It was at this point that the pair decided to step in and help the stricken animal.

The deer in the harbourThe deer in the harbour (Image: Steve Bowditch)

Milo said: “We managed to usher it by chasing it towards the edge of the harbour. We got into the dinghy and the plan was to get him onto the old slipway to which he played ball and headed down that way but could not get out. He went the other way.

“One of the skippers managed to corner him and got hold of him and we then pulled him aboard and wrapped him up, but he didn’t need much encouragement to get on the boat, he scrambled onboard.

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“After we got the cover over his head, he stopped thrashing, and he calmed down.”

Fortunately, the rescue resulted in a happy ending and the deer was checked over and had no injuries.

Milo and Richie were joined by a member of the public who helped bring the deer to the corner of Fairfield where they set it free.

Releasing the deerReleasing the deer (Image: Steve Bowditch)

Milo said: “I was surprised really, it’s not something that you see every day and I’m not sure how he got into the harbour.

"It was nice to see him running afterwards and uninjured - He held a pretty good audience – there were a lot of people watching.”