Deer sparks major rescue operation after being chased into the sea by dog

A deer sparked a major rescue operation when it was chased into the sea by a dog.

The adult Roe Deer was discovered on the beach between the Western Lawns and Hollywell in Eastbourne.

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS), the Coastguard, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, the RNLI, local lifeguards and Eastbourne Borough Council were called in to help rescue the deer.

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

Trevor Weeks MBE Operations Director for East Sussex WRAS helped lead the rescue. He saidL “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."

Rescuers used two walk-to-wards nets to surround the deer, helped by the coastguard and RNLI. As Trevor 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's veterinary ambulance and driven up near Beachy Head for release.