MOST people will struggle to spot a deer in the woods so it was a surprise for passengers on the Solent Cat when they saw one in the water.
The small deer was seen swimming across Portsmouth Harbour on Sunday afternoon and had to be herded back towards land by the Queen’s Harbour Master.
It was uninjured and once safely at Royal Clarence Marine was taken to a woodland nearby.
Mark Talbot was visiting Portsmouth and saw the deer while on the Solent Cat.
He said: ‘We first saw it from a distance just swimming near Gosport.
‘Then it looked like it was heading towards the Portsmouth Naval Base and we were all concerned for its welfare.
‘We had no idea why it was heading that way or how it got in the water.’
Mr Talbot added that the deer was swimming for around an hour.
‘There was one occasion where we lost sight of it near the yachts and we were worried it had drowned,’ he said
‘But then we saw its little head pop up again and it was back on land shortly after that.
‘I have spent pretty much all my life at sea and I have never seen a deer in the water. I haven’t even seen a dog in the water at Portsmouth Harbour.’
Employees at Royal Clarence Marina, on Weevil Lane, spotted the deer too.
Marina supervisor, Peter Wright, said: ‘It was in the water for a long time before the harbour master got it out.
‘It swam around the marina twice. I didn’t know deers could swim, let alone for that long.’
A spokesman from the Queen’s Harbour Master said: ‘We were called at around 1pm about a deer swimming in the harbour.
‘Crews herded the deer towards the marina in Gosport and it was on land by 1.47pm.’