A RESCUE mission was launched to save a deer from drowning in a lake.

Geoff Wick, who lives with his family in Moreton, near Dorchester, was about to set off for work on Wednesday morning when he noticed something in the lake in his garden.

After studying it more closely he saw it was a deer swimming in circles, unable to get out of the water.

He rushed down to the lake and rowed out to the deer in a small boat to try and help guide it to a bank.

Geoff said: "I was trying to guide the deer to the bank at the side of the lake but it wasn't having any of that and just kept swimming in circles.

"I could see that it was getting exhausted so I managed to grab it by the ears to keep its head above the water so it could get its breath back.

"I was quite worried it was going to bite me but I think it was too tired.

"After about 15 minutes it managed to escape my clutches and made its way to a small island in the middle of the lake which was good as it was on solid ground.

"It stayed there for about half an hour and then it jumped back into the water, but we managed to guide it out."

Geoff's wife Hannah called the RSPCA to give the deer a check-up as it had been in the lake for about an hour.

A responder from the RSPCA examined the deer, who was found to be female, and made sure she was not hypothermic.

Geoff, a property developer, said: "A lady from the RSPCA checked the deer over while we held her down, but as soon as we let go she jumped back into the lake. We got her out quicker that time and then herded her into the woods so I don't think she will be going back in.

"The lady from the RSPCA said she thought the deer might be pregnant so I hope that she has a happy and safe birth.

"We regularly have up to 30 deer in the garden but we have never had one go in the lake before.

"Hopefully it does not become a regular occurrence - I was very late for work!"