Emergency services rescue stuck terrier


In an unbelievable group effort, the RSPCA, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, Yorkshire Water and a local construction company worked in conjunction for over six hours to free a small terrier from distress, as he was found stuck in an underground pipe in South Yorkshire last week.

RSPCA inspector Joanne Hartley was made aware of Jet’s desperate situation in the early hours of Thursday morning (20th April) after the owner of the 16-month-old Patterdale terrier called her to an area off Wombwell Lane in Barnsley.

Inspector Hartley described the situation saying, “Jet had run into the drain pipe while out on a walk with his owner on Wednesday evening. His owner, Jamie, stayed with him, trying to call him out of the underground maze of pipes but had no luck.

“He called our emergency line shortly before 2am but we knew we wouldn’t be able to help until daylight so I went along first thing in the morning and called for the fire service’s assistance on my way.”

Night vision view of terrier

Without a moment’s hesitation, a crew from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and a few workers from a local construction company joined forces and helped liberate the pup from his dilemma.

“It was an absolute nightmare,” said Inspector Hartley who added, “The pipe was about 10ins wide and is part of the old brickwork site which is the size of around two or three football pitches.

“We could hear Jack barking and whimpering, but we had no idea where he was located in the pipes. And the piping runs around 4ft to 6ft underground so we had to dig around 10 trenches down to the pipe to see if we could reach him.”

It wasn’t until Yorkshire Water arrived with a manoeuvrable camera that they were able to locate Jet, around 90 metres away from where he had first entered. After six hours Jet was freed, nearly 24 hours after he went missing.

“It was a really great combined effort from everyone who was there and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped out,” said inspector Hartley, who heaped praise on the collective effort of everyone involved saying, “All the agencies involved were willing to work as long as it took to free Jet and I’m so glad we were able to release him safe and sound.”

Jet’s owner, Jamie Taylor, was overwhelmed by the community spirit that sought to save his pup.

He said, “Jet was really shaken at first but now he’s back to his usual self. I’m really thankful to everyone who worked so hard to make sure Jet was freed.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Matt Gillatt said, “This was an extremely challenging rescue which acquired a great deal of skill and problem solving by our crews, alongside help from other agencies.

“Animal rescues are an established part of the fire services work that is highly valued by local people. Rescues performed by firefighters with specialist training and equipment also stop the public getting into danger by attempting rescues themselves.”


Rescue service at work

Senior sewer network technician at Yorkshire Water, Ian Wilks, had the following to say on the operation, “Using an access point dug out by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, I was able to use a sewer inspection CCTV unit to locate Jet, the missing Patterdale terrier, approximately 90m downstream.

“He was trapped in a pipe which connected to a buried manhole chamber. Using the transmitter attached to the CV unit, I was able to mark the location of the buried chamber, approximately 1m below the surface.

“The manhole was then uncovered, giving the fire service and inspector Hartley the access to retrieve Jet from the drain.

“It was an unusual afternoon’s work, where everyone pitched in using their own area of expertise, which ended with the best result possible, Jet being returned safe and well to his grateful and relieved owner.”

Images courtesy of RSPCA & South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service.


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