#20: Calvineers Visit: The Rescue

The Eagle Is Down, But Not For Long
While the Calvineers were on the Island Cruises Whale Watch from Campobello Island, NB, they witnessed the rescue of an eagle that was stranded in Cobscook Bay. See the previous entry, # 17, Calvineers Visit, Day 2, for a detailed account of the whale watch that day. The following is an account of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team's (CWRT) efforts to rescue a distressed bald eagle:

The news of an eagle that was in the water and unable to fly off came to Mackie Green, captain of the whale watch boat, Mister Matthew, over his VHS radio from another whale watch boat. They had unsuccessfully tried to help the eagle and knew that Mackie was part of the CWRT. Mackie took us to the struggling eagle and he and Robert tried to get a large life ring under the bird. Each time the eagle insisted on jumping off the life ring. After three tries they tried one of Meredith Houghton's suggestions, which was to tow a large log floating in the debris to the eagle so it could get on something natural. Good idea but the eagle would have nothing to do with it.

Meredith Olivari explained the event, "When we saw the poor eagle in the water I became sad, I felt so bad for it; trying to lift it's tired wings out of the water and swim back to the far-off shore. Meredith and I had some great ideas about how we could save the eagle and we were a little annoyed that the crew wasn't trying our ideas. Finally they tried one but it did not work."

Meredith Houghton gives an account of the rescue: "...we were lucky enough to witness something that hardly ever happens to a whale watch group! We heard over the radio that a bald eagle was stranded in the water, its feather's waterlogged and couldn't fly! We named it Perry, and it was trying desperately to swim to shore, but with the strong current, the eagle wasn't making much headway. Captain Mackie sped over to see what we could do to help the distressed animal. After trying many different methods, including a life ring, a log and a winter jacket, the CWRT came over to help. They got the eagle out of the water and ended up putting him on a beach where they could keep an eye on him until he flew away. It was so amazing to see the scientists and rescue crew at work, and it was such a good feeling when they saved the eagle, because we knew that it would be safe now."

As the eagle was rejecting the log the CWRT rescue zodiac came into view. When it was close enough to see the driver Meredith Houghton exclaimed, "Look! It's Moe Brown from the Whale House!" Moira (Moe) Brown is trained in all sorts of marine rescues and handles a boat expertly. As soon as Moe maneuvered the boat alongside the eagle her two colleagues put a bag over the eagle's head to calm it down and then carefully hoisted the disheveled animal into the rescue boat. Everyone cheered and there were a couple of tears noticeable also. The eagle did not have any broken bones and seemed quite vigorous. It was let go on a deserted beach where it walked up to some ferns and spread its wings to dry. The student scientists experienced yet another event that showed them how exciting being a scientist could be. Not only that, they were learning that woman scientists are very good at what they do. There is absolutely no reason why they, too, could not become a scientist who does great work in the field as well as the office.

Photo Captions:

1) Struggling Eagle
2) First Rescue Attempt
3) Moe and the CWRT Rescue Team

All Photos taken by Bill McWeeny

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