Fisherman assists deer that swam in ocean, climbed onto jetty

    A deer swimming in the Atlantic Ocean off Manasquan this morning. (Photo: Adam Holloway)

    A deer swimming in the Atlantic Ocean off Manasquan this morning. (Photo: Adam Holloway)

    Adam Holloway planned on fishing with friends this morning when he entered a Monmouth County beach.

    “The surf hasn’t been that good recently, but the fishing has been great,” he said.

    But within 10 minutes, Holloway, the co-owner of Bare Wires Surf & Skate shop in Spring Lake, ended up on the Manasquan Inlet jetty while trying to assist a wayward deer.

    In a phone interview, he says he walked onto the beach shortly before 8:30 a.m. to check the surf and fishing conditions and spotted three deer.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    “Every once in a while you’ll see deer — more in the northern end of the town near Sea Girt, where they walk down a bike path from the west,” Holloway said.

    But this morning was different.

    As soon he walked onto the beach with friends, they encountered the deer, which then ran toward the water line.

    “It was kind of crazy. They were at the water’s edge. They took off and went into the water,” he said. “So they hit the water. Three off them swam out to the breakers. Two swam back to the beach.”

    The third, Holloway said, was swimming in a rip current along the jetty, so he ran onto the rocks and tried to scare the deer so it would swim out of the current and not end up at the mouth of the inlet.

    But that’s when he said the situation became even more bizarre. 

    “Out of nowhere, it climbed up the jetty, which is covered with super slippery moss. Even for a person to climb up it’s difficult. It made it up to the top of the jetty,” he said. “I’m standing pretty close. 10 to 15 feet from it. I thought I was going to corral it.”

    The fisherman thought the deer would run off the jetty, but it jumped back in the water, swam parallel to the beach, and eventually made it back to to dry land apparently unharmed. 

    “All I was trying to do was get the deer back to shore. The last thing I wanted to do was scare it,” Holloway said. “It was crazy.”

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal