January 3, 2016 5:55 pm
Updated: January 3, 2016 5:57 pm

PHOTOS: Police rescue raccoon stranded on Toronto waterfront

A castaway raccoon holds onto a bollard as Toronto police's Marine Unit returns him to shore.

Jeff Clarke


TORONTO – Police carried out an unusual marine rescue on Sunday afternoon, saving a raccoon stranded on Toronto’s waterfront.

Officers from the Marine Unit motored out to the breakwater near Lakeshore Boulevard West and Windermere Drive, where a raccoon had somehow gotten stuck with no return route to shore.

Const. Jeff Clarke was mystified as to how the critter came to be there; he says the castaway critter was totally dry and clearly not a keen swimmer.

“He was just pacing back and forth because there’s no way to get to land,” Clarke said.

Clarke said city Animal Services couldn’t make it out to assist with the rescue, leaving him , along with partner Shane Malley and an accompanying paramedic racking their brains as to how to get the stranded beast on board.

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“We tried a few different methods to get him, brainstorming between the three of us,” Clarke said. “We didn’t want to leave it there, that’d be terrible.”

The crew tried using a spinal board as a bridge, and tried various other ideas for almost 45 minutes. Finally, they nosed the boat right up to the breakwall and used an equipment bag to bridge a small gap, allowing the raccoon to come aboard.

During the trip back to shore, the raccoon paced around the boat before finally wedging himself near a bumper at the bow.

Clarke says Animal Services retrieved the raccoon once ashore.

He says it’s one of the more unusual rescues he’s ever participated in, and he’s glad he could help the raccoon return to dry land.

“As long as he’s safe, we’re safe, I’m happy,” he said.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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