Hovercrafts used to rescue deer on frozen lake

Above photos are screen grabs from the MedCity Hovercraft video
All photos are screen grabs from the MedCity Hovercraft video

Three deer stranded on the partially frozen ice of Albert Lea Lake in Minnesota were rescued in unusual fashion Monday after a photo of one deer was posted on the Facebook page of ABC 6 News.

With so many Albert Lea residents expressing concern and asking why nobody was helping, a father and son decided to do something about it, using a product they actually sell.

Doug and James Kenison, owners of MedCity Hovercraft, used two hovercrafts to reach the deer that were helpless to walk on the slippery ice. Then, they tied a rope to each deer one by one and dragged them off the ice to safety.

The entire rescue can be seen at the bottom in video posted by MedCity Hovercraft. Here's the story from KSTP:

Originally, the men went out to rescue one deer but soon discovered there were three that were stranded about a quarter mile from shore.

"They weren't actually stuck in the ice; it was just so slippery that they just couldn't get their footing," James told ABC 6 News. "It looked like one of the deer actually came closer to us. It just seemed like he knew we were there to help."

Once on shore, one deer pranced off immediately while the other two took a while to regain their strength.

"At that point, you could tell the deer were really exhausted," James said. "They'd been out there a couple of days."

Above photos are screen grabs from the MedCity Hovercraft video
All photos are screen grabs from the MedCity Hovercraft video

With a hovercraft, one can travel on land, water, and ice, so it was the perfect rescue vehicle.

"They're a good tool, especially in situations like this where the ice—you're just not sure if it's thick enough," James said. "We basically had the equipment so we just said why not?

"There's definitely people out there that their hearts were going out to these deer. And just knowing that I have a hovercraft and it would take me nothing to get out there, I just felt like I can't do nothing."

They did something special, to be sure, and it wasn't bad publicity for their company, either.

Here’s the MedCity Hovercraft video:

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