Thanks to their Hovertechnics rescue hovercraft, the Alger County Sheriff’s Department was able to save the lives of a doe and her fawn that had fallen through – and were stranded on - the thin ice on Lake Superior in Munising, Michigan.
The deer were unable to stand or walk due to the fragile ice. “They were exhausted when we got out there,” said Undersheriff Steve Blank, “Had we not gone out there, there were some predators waiting, too. We had a couple of people, including the retired sheriff, who saw a couple of coyotes. But when the hovercraft went over, they ran back.”
The Alger County Sheriff’s Hovertechnics hovercraft easily crossed broken, thin ice to hover right up to the deer. Photo by Missy Mannisto.
After getting the deer back to shore, heating packs were used to warm the deer. Blank said the fawn wasn’t doing as well as the doe at first, but they both were soon able to retreat back into the woods.
Safely on shore, the deer are warmed after their ordeal in icy water. Photo by Alger County Sheriff’s Office
Alger County purchased their 4-passenger 21-foot Hovertechnics hovercraft six years ago, and it has significantly improved the department’s rescue operations. “I’d say we use it once every two weeks,” Undersheriff Blank reports, “It’s a great, great tool, especially for a department that lives on the water. We have so many people who utilize the waters around here, and we assist other departments with it, too.”
On the same weekend as the deer rescue, Alger County’s hovercraft was used a second time to transport workers out to Grand Island to repair a utility line that had fallen on a trail.