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Spaniel lucky to be alive after cat chase led to 50m plunge down Redruth shaft

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 23, 2012

  • Two-year-old Iso was rescued by firefighters from an old mine shaft in the garden of a house near Radnor golf course

  • Iso with his relieved owner Brian Saunders. The spaniel answered his owner's whistle from the shaft

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A pet dog that chased a cat and fell 164ft down a mine shaft was found after his owner whistled into a microphone.

The two-year-old spaniel called Iso tumbled 50m into the empty mine while out with his owner Brian Saunders.

Brian was playing a round of golf and had Iso with him when the dog spotted a cat and ran into undergrowth at the course in Redruth.

Iso fell into a mine shaft but apparently survived the mammoth drop after landing on garden waste thrown in by a local resident.

The pooch is trained to return to a whistle but despite a frantic search he could not be found and a distressed Brian returned home to Falmouth.

But the following morning he got a call from the owners of a house near the course who thought Iso might have fallen down a the shaft in their garden.

Brian raced to the address to find a "small army" of firefighters at work – who asked him to whistle into a microphone.

The sound blared out from speakers lowered into the seam, echoing around the mine shaft.

Iso recognised his owner's whistle and began barking which allowed rescuers to pull him out unscathed.

Brian said: ''They put a probe down the shaft and a chap with headphones asked me to whistle into a microphone.

''I whistled twice and nothing happened, and then after the third whistle, the chap said he could hear barking."

It took the firefighters around an hour to set up their equipment before one of them abseiled to the bottom of the shaft.

Iso, who seemed none the worse for wear, was hauled to the surface and reunited with his owner.

Brian said: ''Iso was jumping for joy when he saw me. He was jumping up and licking my face. I can't give those firefighters enough praise.

''They were absolutely fantastic. Iso suffered a cut on the top of his head, a gravel abrasion on his side and a bruise on his muzzle.

''The vet couldn't believe his injuries were so minor after such a fall.

''The firefighter who went down the shaft said it was very spongy at the bottom, so it may be that someone had thrown garden waste down the shaft, which saved Iso's life."

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