Firefighters rescue terrified deer from Baltic Sea ice floe

Firefighters mounted a treacherous after-dark rescue of a young deer stranded on a sheet of ice that was drifting in the Baltic off the coast of Poland.

TV footage aired in Poland shows the team navigating through slabs of floating ice by boat and using torches to find the stranded animal, which they wrapped in a blanket and carried back to shore.

A spokesman said: "It was extremely difficult to reach it because the ice held us back. It was frightened, jumped into the water and tried to escape but we managed to get it on the boat."

The animal was one of two roe deer spotted early Tuesday drifting some 200 metres off shore in northern Poland near the village of Ustronie Morskie.

Firefighters managed to chase one back to land but the other had drifted further out to sea.

The rescued deer was later handed over to wildlife authorities in a nearby forest.

The drama came nearly a year after the crew of a Polish research ship rescued a dog that had been carried more than 100 miles up a river and out to sea on an ice floe, 15 miles off the Polish coast.

The terrified animal was thought to have been adrift for some three days but no one had been able to reach him.