Maine lobster boat crew saves eagle from Atlantic Ocean

BIRCH HARBOR, Maine (AP) ― A Maine lobster boat crew used some Yankee ingenuity to rescue a waterlogged eagle that it spotted struggling offshore in the North Atlantic.

Lobsterman John Chipman, of Birch Harbor, said 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 near Schoodic Island about a quarter-mile offshore.

“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, Kevin Meaney, of Ellsworth, Maine, and Michelle Ritzema, of Rockford, Michigan aboard the boat with Chipman, fashioned a makeshift raft from a life preserver, a piece of plywood and rope to save the eagle.

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.

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