Bruno the bull-arab rescued after a ruff night

Member News image Photo: Steve Womersley, Chewton CFA


CFA volunteers have successfully rescued a dog that fell down a mine shaft and was forced to spend a night underground on Saturday (4/12).


Incident Controller David Button from Chewton Fire Brigade said they were called out to Castlemaine Diggings National Park around 1.30pm on Sunday, when the owner realised where his Bull-Arab named Bruno had ended up.

“The owner and a friend had been out exploring tunnels but his dog went in after him, passed him in the tunnel, and fell into a mine shaft at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

“The owner couldn’t find Bruno that day despite a thorough search, so he returned on Sunday morning.

“That’s when he shimmied up to edge of the shaft, shone a light down the shaft, and saw the dog walk across the beam of light.

“It was probably a 20 or 30 metre drop but the dog wasn’t scratched or limping, and seemed not to be injured in any way.”

IC Button said they called in Oscar1, CFA’s specialist mine rescue team based in Bendigo, to help with the operation.

“It’s great that CFA has such specialised skills, and it was so easy to coordinate with Oscar1 for a successful rescue.

“We set up an area for the team who brought in their gear, went down the shaft, and found the dog which was completely fine and in good spirits.”

Bruno was reunited with his very relieved owner after being brought back above ground just before 5pm on Sunday.

Bruno’s rescue was in a similar location to another rescue several years ago when a man became trapped in the tunnel and was rescued by local brigades including the Oscar1 team.

IC Button said it’s a reminder to local community members and canines alike to be particularly vigilant in the area.

“There are shafts and hidden mines everywhere, so you definitely shouldn’t venture into tunnels, and it would be best to avoid the area entirely.”


  • Member News imagePhoto: Steve Womersley, Chewton CFA
  • Member News image Photo: Steve Womersley, Chewton CFA
  • Member News image Photo: Steve Womersley, Chewton CFA
Submitted by CFA Media