Fire brigade to the rescue

West Coast firefighters 'dropped their tools' and rescued a stranded canine after the wandering pooch fell into an abandoned mine shaft.

The Greymouth Volunteer Fire Bridge came to the aid Coire, a black labrador on Saturday morning. The dog was trapped in a disused mine shaft in bush at the top of Power Road.

Coire's owners, Helen and Allan Wilson, had left their six-year-old pet with their dog sitter, Allan's sister Thelma Eakin, on Friday night, before they headed to Christchurch.

Mrs Wilson said this morning that Coire did not normally wander off. However, the Eakin's dog Mac died recently and she believes that Coire may have gone looking for "her best mate" and fell down the shaft.

The Eakins discovered Coire missing early on Saturday morning and launched a search.

The whimpering dog was discovered by a neighbour of the Eakins, down the shaft.

Grey District Council dog control officer Murray Malloch was called in and quickly sprang into action calling the fire brigade, who Mr Malloch said "dropped their tools and came to the rescue".

Fire officer in charge of the rescue, Warren Rose, said Coire was calm when they arrived.

"We dropped a ladder down the hole, slipped a harness onto Coire and pulled her up - it was a great achievement - one of those feel good moments," Mr Rose said.

The dog was no "worse for wear", suffering a split toenail and a couple of scratches.

The Eakins and the Wilsons had nothing but praise for the fire brigade. Meanwhile their dog spent the second night at its sitters tied up - just in case.

- By Viv Logie of the Greymouth Star

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