Ren Dorr said he was setting traps when he saw the young deer, which had given up swimming and was being carried farther offshore.
“I’m sure he [had been] going from island to island or shore to an island and he couldn’t see or got caught in the current,” the 31-year-old Harrington lobsterman told the Bangor Daily News. “He was just kind of going with the flow. He wasn’t trying to fight it or swim with it. He was just kind of floating along.”
Dorr added that although he has seen deer swimming before he knows that if he hadn’t been a Good Samaritan and rescued the animal, it would have been “a goner.”
“I couldn’t have that on my conscience, obviously,” Dorr told the news outlet. “That’s not the guy that I am, so I figured I’d bring him in.”
“He was pretty beat out. I told my guys, ‘We gotta grab him,’” Dorr added. “I didn’t really figure it out. [I just said], ‘Throw him in the boat and we’re gonna take him to land.’ They kind of looked at me like I had 10 heads.”
Dorr and his crew hauled the 100-pound buck aboard.
It took them a half-hour to return to Harrington, where the deer was set free.
“I pulled up as close as I could, probably 40 or 50 yards [from shore], I picked him up and set him over the side,” Dorr told the news outlet. “I dropped him in, and he was kind of dazed there for a second. Then he turned and saw that land was right there, and he smoked it for land.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.