Dramatic rescue unfolds in PEI after woman, dog fall into open well

Mike Carson
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Members from the Kensington fire department were dispatched at 7:40 a.m.July 19  to rescue a border collie and its owner who were trapped in a 24-foot deep well in Baltic, north of the town of Kensington in PEI


An uncovered well set the scene for what could have been a tragic situation over the weekend in Baltic, Prince Edward Island. 

Members from the Kensington fire department were dispatched at 7:40 a.m. on Saturday to rescue a border collie and its owner who were trapped in a 24-foot deep well.

Kensington Deputy Fire Chief Rodney Hickey said the dog was chasing an animal when it managed to fall into an uncovered well on the property. The woman who owned the dog tried to rescue it and got trapped inside the well as well.

“Apparently her dog fell down the well and the young lady had tied a rope around herself to lower herself down into the well to get the dog,” the deputy fire chief said. “She found out when she got there that the well was a little deeper than she had anticipated and then couldn’t get back out.”

Two firefighters set up a Jeep equipped with a winch to try and bring the woman and the dog to the surface.

Firefighters lowered the winch, but that was unsuccessful.

“We got her halfway up with the winch  but she wouldn’t let the dog go,” Hickey said. “That’s what she went down there for and she was going to bring the dog up. We tried to talk her into letting the dog go and we’d try and get the dog out after. But no, no, she wanted to come up with the dog.”

Firefighters then lowered a ladder, hooked onto the side of the well and firefighter Jimmy Rix went down to assist the woman.

“We had fastened a harness onto Jimmy and he went down and got the dog back up and then got her onto the ladder and got her up. So, when we got her out, she was soaking wet. It’s an open well and it’s got water in it. Apparently, she was treading water at one point. She was able to stand on the inside of the well on a rock. She said the water was up to her hips when she was standing on the rocks.”

Everybody got out safely.

“The dog was pretty excited - pretty happy to get up out of the well,” Hickey said.

He said the woman’s husband told firefighters that his wife saw the dog fall into the well and before he knew it, she had the rope wrapped around herself and was going down after the dog.

Firefighters put a temporary cap on the well to prevent animals from falling in and the woman was advised by RCMP that all open wells need to be covered.

“We had secured it when we left so no one can get down and no animals can fall in but told her to get a proper cover or have it filled in,” Hickey said. “The owner agreed that she would do that.”

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Baltic, Kensington

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