‘Very happy’ dogs rescued from 12 meter long mine shaft in Coober Pedy

Two dogs have been rescued after they were discovered 12 meters away in a mine shaft in the South Australian outback.

A Coober Pedy resident heard wails from the bottom of his opal mine shaft this morning and called the municipality, who then called the State Emergency Service (SES) unit to investigate.

They discovered there were two dogs at the bottom of the shaft on Post Office Hill Road.

Coober Pedy SES unit manager Anthony Daelman-Whitaker said the rescue kit took about three hours to set up as the group’s rescue harnesses had to be adapted to dogs.

The surgery went well and the unharmed dogs were grateful to see the light of day around 1:30 p.m.

“They were very happy when we got them back at the top,” said Daelman-Whitaker.

Dogs ‘very calm’ when pulled out

After initially wondering who owned the kelpie cross and the Staffordshire terrier cross, dog catcher Roger Boland said the pair started pulling their leashes to homes not far away.

“I said to my mate ‘we might as well let them go’ so we let them go and that was it,” said Mr Boland.

“One ran right up the hill and off he went; the other went the other way.

“They must have been friends, but they don’t live in the same house.”

SES volunteers in orange outfits stand around a hole with a frame above it
Equipment set up by the SES to rescue the dogs, with the help of volunteers from the National Fire Brigade.Delivered: Roger Boland

He said they were “very calm” and that he didn’t need the sedatives he was carrying just in case.

“A little bruised I think, but otherwise they were fine,” he said.

Daelman-Whitaker said it was unclear how long the dogs were in the shaft.

“It’s very good to have such a positive result as we don’t know how long they were down there and they fell 12 meters,” he said.

A hood has now been placed over the entrance to the mine shaft.

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