Video captured the ruthless deer floating in between waves at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point. One surfer even had to bail to avoid hitting the deer.
It was a strange and very rare occurrence for the surfers. Mike Foudy was shooting video of his son trying out for the Dana Hills High School surf team when he spotted the animal.
As Cody Foudy got onto his third wave, he came face-to-face with the deer.
“Right away I knew it was a deer. It had giant antlers and it looked right at my face. It was tripping me out because I didn’t know what a deer was doing in the water,” he said.
Unfazed by the close encounter with the surfer, the deer began swimming farther out into the ocean. Foudy and a group of people at the beach continued watching in shock.
Witnesses said it swam out about half a mile before coach Tim Sampson eventually paddled out and coaxed the deer back to shore for fear it would drown. It ran up the beach and on to drier ground.
“We kind of realized he’s not swimming back. He was swimming parallel to the beach. He was swimming out,” he said.
While the video shows the deer prancing on dry land, Sampson said it ran right back into the water. That’s when the harbor patrol used a hose to finally convince the animal to end its morning swim.
The chance encounter has left the surf team with plenty of nicknames for their coach, such as Buck Wild and Bucky.
A captain with the Orange County Lifeguards said sometimes a deer will be spotted on the beach, but he can’t remember a time when one actually went into the water.