Who let the dog out? CFA! CFA! CFA!

The CFA commander behind the rescue of a dog stuck down a Central Victorian mineshaft this week said it “wasn’t a case of just going down there and getting him”. 


It took rescuers more than four hours to access the site and winch ‘Boofa’ to safety, after he fell down the four-and-a-half-metre mineshaft on Spearys Road, Dereel.

The Red Kelpie had been missing for a week, and it was not known how long he had been trapped in the mine.

CFA Commander Stephen Alcock said local CFA volunteers from Dereel were supported by technicians from Lucas HAZMAT and Geelong City Rescue.

“Dereel Fire Brigade were first on the scene and confirmed that there was a dog trapped down a mine shaft. They then requested assistance to rescue the trapped pooch,” Mr Alcock said.

“When we are faced with situations like this, it takes time to assess the requirements of the rescue. We don’t know what’s been in the mineshaft before; there could be rusting metal or other bio-hazard substances that can emit hydrogen sulphide gas, that is dangerous to humans.

“There could be rotting carcasses that could pose a problem; there could be carbon monoxide if machines had been running nearby.

“There’s a whole gamut of risks we have to check before sending someone down a mineshaft.”

He said an atmospheric monitor lowered down the hole and a series of tests conducted, returning safe oxygen and atmospheric readings.

“Next we ensured the stability of the mine entrance by placing shoring boards around the area, and then set up a tripod directly over the top of the entrance, allowing one of our rescue team to be lowered directly into the mine to get to Boofa.”

A ‘nappy harness’ was then wrapped around Boofa, and alongside his rescuer, the family pet was winched to safety.

Commander Alcock said it was a smooth rescue and commended the firefighters for their incredible efforts.

“By following our processes and systems, what could have been a complex rescue, transpired without incident and ended well for Boofa and his owners.”

Back at home, Boofa was soaking up much-needed cuddles with his owners.

“(My husband and I) searched everywhere,” Tamara Turner told Channel 9.

“We looked every place we possibly could.”

“And lo and behold only 600-metres from our back gate, he’d been down this massive Chinese mineshaft.”


Author: CFA News & Media