Bedraggled, floundering bald eagle rescued by warmhearted fishermen

Credit: Gabriel Grams

Credit: Gabriel Grams

Fishermen off the coast of Maine caught more than they bargained for one day last week when they set off on a lobster-fishing trip.

John Chipman Jr., Kevin Meaney and several others were sailing the "Theresa Anne" on July 27 when they spotted something unusual thrashing about in the water near Schoodic Island.

As they got closer, the group realized it was a bald eagle.

Chipman said in 45 years of plying the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, he's never seen a swimming bald eagle, and he knew the battle-worn, one-eyed eagle needed help, the Bangor Daily reported.

"I knew it wasn't going to make it," Chipman told the Daily.

“It wasn’t really a long way from land, but for him to swim that far? It would have been a long way for him to go,” he said.

So, Chipman, Meaney and the others on board made their way toward the eagle.

They also improvised a raft from a piece of plywood to help the eagle get out of the water.

Credit: Michelle Ritzema

Credit: Michelle Ritzema

As the boat was heading back to shore to meet up with wildlife officials, the eagle dried off enough to take flight -- and that’s what it did.

A Maine wildlife biologist told the Bangor Daily Chipman and crew likely saved the raptor's life when they helped it from the water and let if dry off on the boat.

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