The Macomb Daily
FIREFIGHTERS PULL DEER FROM LAKE
Despite crew’s effort, animal had to be euthanized
Washington Township firefighters braved frigid temperatures at Stony Creek Metropark to rescue an injured animal from a lake Wednesday morning.
Firefighters suited up to retrieve a deer they suspect may have been hit by a car and ended up partially submerged in the frozen waters of Stony Creek Lake. Because it has broken through the ice, rescuers determined the animal could not make it from the lake on its own.
They first considered launching a rescue effort from the shore at Eastwood Beach but soon realized they would need to go in after it. The crew then shifted to Baypoint Beach where firefighter Abbe Alcini and an unidentified department member donned waterproof “Hobie” suits, tethered themselves to rescue lines and walked out on the ice to get the deer.
“We train for this type of situation all the time,” Washington Township Fire Chief Brian Tyrell said.
As they got closer to the animal, they placed a horse collar on it and pulled it to shore.
It was determined the deer had a broken hind leg. Michigan Department of Natural Resources officer Joe Deppen said the deer’s injuries were most likely caused by being hit by a car then it may have been chased to the ice by predators based on coyote tracks found nearby.
As a result of the broken leg, the animal had to be euthanized.
“Our crews were certainly saddened by the outcome but it was not a fruitless effort. This was a real effort and provided critical ice rescue training experience,” Washington Township Deputy Chief Rob Schmelzer said.