Dog falls over Elk Falls and lives

by Leanne Thompson on July 10, 2010

Just what is it with dogs and falling off very large things? In the UK not so long ago we had the dog that fell off a cliff twice, and another dog who fell off another cliff (seemingly starting a trend) and now a dog in Canada has fallen down a waterfall, and not just any waterfall at that… Elk Falls.

The dog was golden retriever called Lulu, and she was swept over the top of Elk Falls recently, prompting an emergency rescue attempt from the ‘Campbell River Search and Rescue volunteers’. Her owner frantically called for help as witnesses kept an eye on the dog in the water below the falls.

The rescue manager, Grant Cromer, commented:

“Witnesses at the scene stated that the dog initially popped up underneath the falls and managed to climb onto a rock, but was overcome by water and fell back in and was washed downstream. The dog was not visible from any vantage point along the trail or viewing platform, but it could be heard barking downstream faintly.”

Lulu was merely looking for a drink near the top of the falls when the water caught her and swept over the top, where she fell 25 metres to the water below.

When Campbell River Search and Rescue was alerted, they first had to check with their manager whether they were allowed to attempt a rescue because they’re purpose is to rescue humans, not dogs. Luckily they were given permission, and they leapt into action to save Lulu.

The team set about locking the spill gates for nearby Moose Falls, before abseiling down ropes at Elk Falls. Once into the water at the foot of the falls, they swam 100 metres to where they found the soaking wet dog, perched on a ledge below the falls.

Grant Cromer described the dog when they found her:

“She was just sitting on a little ledge. We sat with her for a bit until she calmed down and then put a little leash on her and swam downstream.”

The trip back up wasn’t quite so fast for the rescuers, or for the dog, as they had to make a 45 minute hike back to the top of the falls, where Lulu’s family were delighted to see her.

“Everyone was super-happy that this had a good ending. We all wanted to go for it, and certainly everybody was gung-ho when it all worked out.”

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