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)

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

A decade into the 100-year blueprint for restoring the Bowker Creek watershed, Soren Henrich, director of the Friends of Bowker Creek Society, feels positive about the future of conservation and daylighting of the creek. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Ten years in, Greater Victoria’s 100-year Bowker Creek blueprint gets a boost

Victoria council passes several restoration recommendations

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ on Sooke Road

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

A resurfacing of the tennis court in Metchosin is being eyed for the community. However, funding opportunities still need to be solidified for the project. (Michelle Cabana/Black Press Media)
Renewed surface eyed for Metchosin tennis court

Funding source must first be solidified in order for project to happen

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

Most Read