Deer rescued from Eastbourne seafront after going into the water

A deer has been rescued from Eastbourne seafront by emergency services after going into the water.

The ‘major rescue’ took place on Monday, August 1, and involved East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS), the coastguard, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, the RNLI, local lifeguards and Eastbourne Borough Council.

An adult roe deer was discovered on the beach between the Western Lawns and Holywell after being chased by a dog into the water, according to East Sussex WRAS.

The first attempt to corner the deer on a beach failed due to the open space and the its ability to move faster than humans on the shingle.

Operations director for East Sussex WRAS Trevor Weeks MBE said: “We knew capture was going to be difficult on the beach but we had to try.

"After having seen the deer struggle to get out of the water and then lay down exhausted we were surprised at just how lively the deer was when we made our first approach.

"It shot off at high speed along the beach in the direction of Eastbourne Pier jumping over groynes and on several occasions swimming out to sea and being chased by dogs.

"The RNLI were able to encourage the deer ashore near the Lifeboat Museum where it went to ground hiding in some bushes.”

The deer on Eastbourne seafront. Images from East Sussex WRAS

East Sussex WRAS said rescuers using two walk-towards nets, helped by the coastguard and RNLI, were able to surround the deer.

As Mr Weeks approached the deer it slipped under one of the nets but lost its footing and was soon restrained by the team on the promenade.

The deer was loaded onto a stretcher and into the back of WRAS' veterinary ambulance before being driven up near Beachy Head for release.

East Sussex WRAS said deer are usually good swimmers.

The deer being released. Images from East Sussex WRAS

One of East Sussex WRAS’ senior rescuers Keith Ring added: “We would normally leave well alone when a deer is out at sea off the shore and let it come back to shore once people move away.

"The big problem here was the volume of people on the seafront and the deer being unable to get off the beach safely without the risk of further harm from dogs and traffic.”