Good Samaritans are everywhere and Virginia Beach certainly has plenty of them. When Patrick McLaughlin spotted something odd swimming in the ocean, he felt compelled to investigate. He grabbed his binoculars, zoomed and focused on his target. What he saw was something uncommon and very life threatening — a baby dear swimming in the Atlantic ocean about 3/4 of a mile off the coastline. That is not something you see every day.

What Patrick did next is incredible and inspiring. He grabbed his stand up paddle board, jumped into the ocean and did what any Good Samaritan does, attempted a rescue mission. After a vigorous race against time, waves, and currents, he reached the already tiring deer. Now that the floating man has caught up to the swimming deer, what next? Patrick began to paddle board behind the deer, gently herding it back to the VA Beach shoreline.

When both finally made it back to the safe sandy shores of land itself, Patrick could see how exhausted the deer was. It could barely stand. But after some much needed rest, multiple attempts, and lots of determination, it finally stood and managed it’s way over a dune.

To the deer, Patrick is an unknown hero. To us, Patrick is another great example of how our community is comprised of every day heroes who go the extra nautical mile.