BIRCH HARBOR, Maine – Members of a Maine lobster boat crew used some Yankee ingenuity to rescue a waterlogged eagle they spotted struggling offshore in the North Atlantic.
Lobsterman John Chipman, of Birch Harbor, said Monday that the struggling bird seemed to be relieved to see his boat and even tried to hop on board after Chipman came across the unusual sight of an eagle flopping around about a quarter-mile offshore, near Schoodic Island.
"The way he was acting, I knew that he wanted help. He seemed to try to come to the boat on his own and tried to get in. He wanted out of the water," he said.
Two retired police officers aboard the boat with Chipman, Kevin Meaney, of Ellsworth, Maine, and Michelle Ritzema, of Rockford, Michigan, fashioned a makeshift raft from a life preserver, a piece of plywood and rope to save the eagle last Thursday.
The eagle hopped aboard the raft and eventually was hauled onto the stern of the boat, where it dried off, Chipman said.
The bird was missing an eye and appeared to be older. Chipman intended to deliver it to game wardens for care and rehabilitation, but the eagle had other ideas. After drying off, it spread its wings and flew away.