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Deer struggling in cold Alaskan waters saved by wildlife troopers who give them a lift in their boat

Two Alaska Wildlife Troopers wound up playing the role of rescuers last week while boating to Ketchikan in southeast Alaska's famed Inside Passage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two deer struggling in the waters of southeast Alaska’s famed Inside Passage finally made it to land, thanks to two Alaska Wildlife Troopers who gave the deer a lift in their boat.

Sgt. Mark Finses and trooper Kyle Feuge were returning from a patrol in nearby Ernest Sound to Ketchikan on Oct. 10 when they spotted the deer, agency spokesperson Justin Freeman said in an email to The Associated Press.

The deer were about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) from any island in the channel, which is favored by large cruise ships taking tourists in summer months to locations such as Ketchikan and Juneau.

The deer were floating down Clarence Strait about 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) northwest of Ketchikan, but not toward any particular island, Freeman said. They were fighting the current during midtide.