The coastguard, fire service, and the RNLI were notified about an exhausted deer swimming near the Blue Reef Aquarium and Clarence Esplanade, Southsea. On Saturday, at around 9.00 AM, the call came in and they reacted to it. The deer was a large one, and it apparently swam from the Isle of Wight, some miles away. A rescue attempt was made but failed when a misguided attempt to help by members of the public, caused it to drown.

The Telegraph noted that the animal had come ashore but the summer crowds watching the deer saw it go back out to sea. BBC reported that the Hampshire Fire and Rescue said that this effort to save the roe-deer was a coordinated response by "RSPCA, RNLI and Coastguard." The RNLI were gentle with the animal, quietly keeping swimmers and other boats away.

They were waiting for an animal specialist to arrive.

RNLI went to collect animal specialist

The public misguidedly got involved when the animal specialist arrived and the boat returned to the shore to collect them. That was when someone in a private boat tried to help. Apparently, they managed to throw a lasso over it and the animal drowned. It's not clear whether the lasso choked the animal, or if it was afraid and struggled, or even if waves from the boat had a negative effect on the deer. Unfortunately, it was not a successful attempt.

The RNLI boat rushed back to the deer, only to discover it had already drowned. BBC said that the deer was pulled aboard the boat and the rescuers attempted to resuscitate it. However, it could not be revived and had passed away.

Fire service spokesperson says people should not try and help

Both the BBC and the Telegraph stressed that people should not try and help Animals in distress like the drowning deer.

A spokesperson for the fire service reminded the public that they can do more harm than good if they are not experts. The tragic loss of life could have been avoided. The various departments that responded to the scene are properly trained in this type of incident. The spokesperson said, "We'd like to take this opportunity to remind the public that if they find an animal in danger, difficulty or distress, please call 999, state your location and wait for the appropriate emergency service to help."

The animal came from an area where wild deer are still seen, and wildlife like squirrels abound. The Isle of Wight Deer Conservation posted up an article on the wildlifearticles website. They explained that "Red and Roe re-established their presence here after the last Ice Age."