RESCUERS were met with a round of applause when they helped a little deer to safety.
The Muntjac deer was stranded in waters at Newtons Cove, Weymouth, and had been swimming back and forth for two days.
Rescuer Steve Coulson, aged 60, said: “The deer was first spotted on Monday at about 10am.
“It then spent the rest of the day and night in the water.
“It couldn’t climb up the breakwater rocks to get out and kept ending up back in the sea.”
Portland Coastguard attended but could do nothing and called the RSPCA.
A Coastguard spokesman said: “We’ve had lots of reports about deer in trouble recently.
“It’s because they are young at this time of year, they follow their mothers down to the water and get trapped and can’t follow it back.
“We sent a team down because we were concerned about a member of the public going in to to rescue the deer.
“Unfortunately we have no remit to rescue animals.
“Weymouth RNLI was going out on exercise that evening and said they would send the boat by.
“We were later informed that three members of the public managed to corner it and carry it off to safety.”
HGV driver Mr Coulson and two other men decided to get involved with the rescue.
Mr Coulson said: “The poor thing was exhausted. It was on its last legs and would never have made it another night.
“After yet another scare, the deer jumped into the water and swam for another mile before making it back to the rocks.
“When it managed to get to the rocks, we decided enough was enough.
“We climbed down the rocks and cornered the deer on the edge of the water.
“We thought it would panic and bolt but it was so exhausted that we managed to pick it up.
“We lifted it up the rocks and released it onto a grassed area in the hope it would find its way home.”