WARSAW, Poland – Polish firefighters dodged treacherous sheets of ice in a risky after-dark rescue of a terrified deer stranded on a floe in the Baltic Sea, a spokesman said Wednesday.
The rescue team faced serious hazards navigating among the sharp ice sheets but managed to save the drifting animal at the "last moment" after dark on Tuesday, Waldemar Bogatko told TVN24.
TV footage showed the team of four steering through the plates by boat and using flashlights to find the deer, wrap it in a blanket and carry it back to shore.
"It was extremely difficult to reach it because the ice held us back," Bogatko said.
"It was frightened, jumped into the water and tried to escape but we managed to get it on the boat," he said.
The animal was one of two roe deer that were spotted early Tuesday drifting some 200 meters (yards) off shore in northern Poland near the village of Ustronie Morskie. It was handed over to wildlife authorities in a nearby forest.
Firefighters managed to chase one deer back to land during the day, but the other drifted further out to sea.
Many viewers sent TVN24 e-mails congratulating the team on the rescue, the station said.
Last year a Polish dog attracted international attention after it was rescued from ice floes in the Baltic.