Firefighters rescue dog that fell into ‘Abyss’ crevice in Nanaimo

Rope team’s slimmest crew member climbs down 18 metres to harness pet

RCMP Const. Cydney MacNeill watches as Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighter John Fournier pulls a dog from the Abyss on Tuesday afternoon. (Nanaimo Fire Rescue photo)

Joey the Australian shepherd and his owner are breathing sighs of relief after the dog was saved by a Nanaimo Fire Rescue technical rope rescue team this afternoon.

Firefighters and police were called to the Extension Ridge Trail, southeast of Harewood, on Tuesday at about 12:45 p.m. after the dog fell down a geological feature the trail crosses over commonly referred to as the Abyss, a large crack in the bedrock that extends for much of the distance of the ridge.

The dog and his owner were hiking in the area when the dog fell an estimated 18 metres into the fissure and couldn’t get out.

Geoff Whiting, Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief of operations, said a technical rescue team was sent into the Abyss to retrieve the dog.

“We weren’t sure if the dog was even alive,” Whiting said. “The reports we got is that they could hear the dog barking at first and then didn’t hear it. It ended up being about 50 feet down.”

Firefighter Justin Lynch was selected to go into the Abyss since he is slim enough to fit into the narrow space. He had to clear branches and other debris that had fallen into the crack to get access to the dog, but eventually made his way down to where it had fallen.

“Fortunately the dog had a harness on him and our guy was able to get down to reach him and talk the dog into getting close to him and ended up hooking one of the lines … up to the harness and they basically pulled the dog up,” Whiting said.

Whiting said it was fortunate the dog was wearing its harness, otherwise there would not have been room for Lynch to hold the dog in his arms and carry him up out of the Abyss.

“The owner was really grateful and it was lucky that we were able to get to [the dog] because of the way that crack is,” Whiting said. “If he had gone a little farther along it would have been hard.”

Once out, the dog appeared to be uninjured, if a little “freaked out” by the experience, Whiting said, and the pet’s owner took the pooch to a veterinary clinic to be checked out. The pet owner said in an e-mail to the News Bulletin that his dog was x-rayed and sustained no injuries at all in the fall. He said he was very grateful to all who took part in the rescue.

READ ALSO: Top 10 most-memorable animal stories of 2019

READ ALSO: Woman grateful after Nanaimo firefighters rescue dog from drain



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Dogsrescue

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Heavy rainfall warning

Rainfall expected to exceed 100 mm in North Coast and Kitimat regions

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

Community engagement process launched to implement northern B.C. First Nation’s rights and title

Dogs are matched with the person, not the person matched to the dog – Prince Rupert SPCA

Prince Rupert SPCA does their due diligence in adopting dogs to suitable human companions

Photo Gallery: Memorial totem pole raising in Prince Rupert

The memorial pole stands in memory of Prince Rupert carvers mother on Second Ave. West

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

External community engagement process launched to help implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Parkinson SuperWalk goes virtual throughout B.C. due to COVID-19

People encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood, along community trails, through parks, forests

Missed rent payments ‘cause of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Most Read