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Deer in River rescue

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has fished a live deer out of the Thames.

PLA officers dragged the animal into their boat after it tried to flee rescuers near Denton, Kent, by running into the river.

The deer had been stranded on foreshore exposed by the low tide when concerned members of the public called the coastguard.

Gravesend lifeboat was first on the scene and its crew managed to corner the animal, but the deer struggled free and leapt into the water.

The lifeboat and the port authority's craft 'Ebbsfleet' gave chase and got alongside the animal.

PLA moorings and wharf supervisor Steve Rushbrook then leant over the side of the PLA boat and snatched the deer out of the water.

Steve said: "When it came alongside the boat I knew I just had to grab it and hold on tight. It put up a fair fight, but we managed to get it onboard."

The PLA's Jason Carter, who trains animal medics for British Divers Marine Life Rescue, was also on the scene. He said: "I’ve no doubt the deer would have drowned if it had been left stranded on the foreshore – there was no way it could have escaped an incoming tide."

The PLA and RNLI took the deer to a nearby jetty where it was handed to RSPCA staff last Friday.

The exhausted animal was taken to a sanctuary, and was released back into the wild on Monday.

Jason said: "How it got onto the foreshore in the first place remains a mystery."

Contact: Martin Garside, Port of London Authority, Tel: 01474 562366. (Email)

Notes to Editors:

The Port of London Authority (PLA) is responsible for safety and other related matters on 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington.