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

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

Jennifer Rice BC NDP North Coast Incumbent was re-elected for a third according to the preliminary results on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Jennifer Rice is North Coast MLA for third term

Preliminary election results show NDP Majority government

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Crew transport bus at the Trans Mountain pipeline project work site in Burnaby, March 2020. (Trans Mountain)
Check your workplace COVID-19 safety plans, Dr. Henry urges

Masks in public spaces, distance in lunchrooms for winter

B.C.’s Court of Appeal is in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judgment reserved in Surrey Six slayings appeals

Six men were killed in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

Kelowna City Hall has been vandalized overnight. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna City Hall hit by anti-pandemic vandalism

Graffiti condemning the virus appears overnight on City Hall

FILE – A woman smokes a marijuana joint at a “Wake and Bake” legalized marijuana event in Toronto on October 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Home nurse visits could play big role in reducing cannabis use, smoking in young mothers

The program, dubbed the BC Healthy Connections Project, involves public health nursing home visits

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The ‘new normal’ for hockey parents in Chilliwack and elsewhere in B.C., watching their kids from outside of the arena due to COVID-19 protocols. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack hockey parents petition to be let back in the arena

Refused access due to pandemic protocols, parents are now applying pressure to loosen the rules

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of B.C. girl, 7, by accused mother was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

Most Read