Wild weekend of multi-agency rescues

Member News image


The first weekend of April saw a hive of activity for our CFA members as they attended several multi-agency rescue efforts across the State.


Crews from CFA, FRV, SES, Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria joined forces across both Saturday, 1 April and Sunday, 2 April to successfully retrieve and save a horse, puppy and two people who found themselves in significant distress.  

Horse rescue in Charlemont (District 07)

Horse is rescued from Barwon River

Saturday afternoon at around 4:20pm saw a multi-agency rescue effort in Charlemont from CFA, FRV and SES, alongside a local farrier who worked together to winch a horse trapped in the banks of the Barwon River.

Three CFA units from Grovedale, with FRV, arrived at Kings Lane to discover a horse unable to free itself from the water. Firefighters arrived to find the horse distraught and sinking further and further into the water.

Specialist equipment was required, and crews were able to safely apply a rescue harness and lift the horse to safety. Once back on dry land, the horse was able to stand up and be tended to. Under the supervision of the Veterinarian on scene, the incident was declared under control at 6:52pm and safe at 7:14pm.

Puppy rescue in Beechworth (District 24)

Puppy is rescued from well

At around 9:20am on Sunday morning, three Beechworth CFA units responded to a high angle rescue alongside FRV and SES for a 10-week-old puppy stuck down a well.

Having been missing for four days, the owner heard the puppy down the well and phoned for help. Located on Fighting Gully Road, crews discovered the well was up to 10 metres deep and lined by bricks, and water at the bottom. Although there were initial concerns about the structural integrity of the well, luckily the puppy was safely retrieved by firefighters using their confined space rescue skills at 11:13am.

Mine shaft rescue in Leonards Hill (District 15)

Man rescued from mine shaft

Sunday morning also saw nine CFA units respond to a high angle rescue alongside FRV at 11:41am where a man had fallen at least two metres down a mineshaft at Leonards Hill.

Just south of Daylesford, crews on scene discovered the man had dislocated his shoulder as a result of the fall, where he had been walking through the bush with his partner before falling down the mine shaft. CFA’s specialist mine rescue team Oscar One was called in to transport rescue gear and inspect the shaft to ensure crew safety.

Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria attended the scene in support, and once pain relief was given to the patient, the rescue crews were able to place a ladder down the shaft, so he was able to climb up.

Given the terrain of the bush and multiple mine shafts in the area, Oscar One helped identify and section off those troublesome down the path, which involved a 2km return trip on foot for crews on scene.

The man was handed over to Ambulance Victoria and the incident was deemed under control at 1:42pm, and safe at 2:23pm.

Motor cyclist rescue in Three Bridges (District 13)

Motor cyclist rescued in Three Bridges

Similarly, a multi-agency high angle rescue was again required on Sunday morning at 11:52am where a motor cyclist had driven off Mt Bride Road and falling down a 40m ravine.

Seven CFA units were on scene with SES to assist the rescue of the patient who obtained a concussion and broken arm as a result of the accident. At around 1:28pm he was safely hauled to road level and airlifted by Ambulance Victoria to hospital. 

Well done to all crews involved across the weekend.


  • Member News imageHorse rescued from the Barwon River
  • Member News image Puppy rescued in Beechworth
  • Member News image Man rescued from mine shaft in Leonards Hill
Submitted by CFA media