Firefighters have carried out a daring rescue of a dog who was discovered at the bottom of a 200 foot deep quarry.
Ted the border terrier went missing from his home near Diptford during the afternoon of Sunday, October 8. His disappearance sparked a search of the area by his owners and concerned members of the public, that by late last week had even grown to include an unmanned drone.
On Saturday, October 14, after a thorough search of the area around the privately owned Larcombe Quarry, searchers decided to make one last check of the quarry itself.
Drone operator Craig Timblin said: "After scouring the neighbouring fields and farms, we carried out another check on the nearby quarry, just so we could be sure that we had covered everywhere.
"Within seconds of reaching the top, we spotted movement and out popped Ted.
"Words cannot describe the emotions that went through the team’s hearts at this moment."
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service were called in, initially in the shape of a fire engine from Buckfastleigh, before the specialist rescue team from Barnstaple was summoned thanks to Ted’s inaccessible location.
A spokesman for Buckfastleigh Fire Station said: "Upon arrival we were met by the owner of the pooch who explained that ’Ted’, the 15-month-old border terrier had been missing since last Sunday and had now been spotted at the bottom of a disused quarry.
"Crews made their way to the scene with Ted’s owners to assess the situation. They did a full 360 degree search of the scene looking for the best access down into the quarry, but to no avail. It was then decided the safest route to Ted would be a Specialist Line Rescue Team, to abseil down into the quarry.
"Once crews reached the scene they set in rigging lines and began the descent into the quarry. The team made short work of the 200ft descent and made contact with Ted, who was a little scared at first. After a short while Ted’s trust was gained and he was fitted with a special dog harness and placed into the climbers pack.
"With his little head poking out of the top of the bag, Ted and his rescuer made the exhausting climb back to the top. He was met at the top by the team and the safety officer, who quickly passed him back to his family.
"Ted received lots of hugs and kisses from his owners and was glad of a drink and some food.
Big thanks to the owners who remained remarkably calm throughout the incident and kept us all supplied with tea and coffee."