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

The boil water advisory came into effect Oct. 21, 2020.
The Village of Alert Bay is on a boil water advisory

Coliform levels could indicate the presence of a pathogen

Kuterra’s smolts will come from Cermaq hatcheries. (Whole Oceans image)
Cermaq to supply salmon smolts to land-based farm Kuterra

Emergent Holdings, which operates Kuterra, and Cermaq signed a four-year agreement

Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health chief medical health officer, immunizes Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s vice-president of pandemic planning. (Submitted photo)
Can’t wait for a COVID vaccine? Get the flu vaccine in the meantime, says Dr. Enns

“We’re in a pandemic, and we can’t afford to have dual viral infections.”

Costume Crawl 2018. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Costume Crawl will return from 12-4 p.m. on Halloween

For more information on the Costume Crawl, check out Cafe Guido’s Facebook page.

Junior Canadian Ranger Miguel Catarata was awarded the Lord Strathcona Medal back in 2019 at Port Hardy Secondary School. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Junior Canadian Rangers find new place to meet amidst pandemic

The Port Hardy patrol has historically used the facilities at Port Hardy Secondary School.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Most Read