Baby deer rescued from thin ice in Crowsnest Pass, Alta.
Local water rescue team saved stranded fawn using inflatable boat
When members of the Crowsnest Pass Fire and Rescue team heard about a deer fawn stuck on thin ice on a lake in southwestern Alberta, they jumped into action.
The Dec. 4 drama started when a call came in from an Alberta Fish and Wildlife officer about the animal that was stranded on Crowsnest Lake.
"He had received a phone call … about a deer spotted out on the ice that was unable to move," fire chief Steve Debienne told the Calgary Eyeopener on Wednesday.
"He wanted to call for an appropriate team to come out with appropriate equipment to go out and retrieve this animal."
Debienne sent out his specially trained 12-member water rescue team. They hiked about a 1.5 kilometres along the shoreline to reach the struggling fawn.
'Deer was played out'
Two crew members went onto the ice with an inflatable ice-rescue boat.
"When they got out to the deer, the deer was played out. It had been there for a while and it simply had no energy," Debienne said.
"They were able to retrieve the deer, got the deer in [the boat] and the guys pulled it to shore. Got the deer up, it stood there for a couple of minutes, kind of looked back at us, and it wandered off into the trees."
The incident served as a useful training exercise, Debienne said.
"They don't get to use their resources as much as they would like to, so this was an appropriate time to put our members to work and actually get them to put their training to good use."