I turned on the local news the other night, and saw a helicopter shot of a deer that fell through ice and was trapped in the water. Obviously a bad thing for the deer. At the time, there were emergency vehicles on the scene, but no one was in the water working to free the animal.
While the authorities tried to figure out what to do, two dudes with an inflatable boat went in the water and rescued the deer themselves.
Naturally, they have been fined.
Firefighters and the natural resources officer advised the men not to go out on the water, particularly without life vests, Albert said.
But the men went out in their boat and freed the deer.
“We had oars and shovels to break the ice, for the deer to get out,” one of the men, Khalil Abusakran, told WJZ-TV at the scene.
He and the other man, Jim Hart, could not be reached for comment later. Hart told the television station that the natural resources officer did not warn him against the rescue attempt.
“And he didn’t say anything,” Hart told WJZ. “We went in and out of the water numerous times. He didn’t stop us at all.”
After the rescue, the natural resources officer issued them $90 citations for not having personal flotation devices on board. State law requires that all boaters have a personal flotation device with them at all times on any navigable body of water, though they are not required to wear them unless they are under the age of 16.
Albert said the men could have faced a stiffer charge: disobeying a lawful order.
“They could have been arrested and taken before a commissioner,” Albert said. “Our officer erred on the side of the least invasive action that he could take at the time.”
No. The least invasive action would be to thank the two men and not issue any citation. But government agents don’t like it when we don’t listen to them, and they like to show they still have the power.