WATCH: Miraculous rescue of working sheepdog stuck on Waterford mountains
South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association (SEMRA) were called into action on Saturday after a sheepdog who was rounding up sheep on the Comeragh Mountains became stuck on a narrow path high up on the cliffs at the back of Coumshingaun Lake.
Members of SEMRA received a call from Waterford Gardai on Saturday afternoon at 3pm to assist with rescuing the animal.
The dog was rounding up sheep when she ended up 50 metres down the 300-metre cliff and was unable to get back to the top.
Four members of the SEMRA team were brought up to the top of the mountain behind the cliffs of Coumshingaun by Rescue 117 which was training in the area at the time.
A member of the team was lowered to the area near the dog but a rescue could not be affected as he could not safely approach the dog from his position.
WATCH THE RESCUE BELOW:
Two other members of the team who had followed on foot had brought more equipment. The helicopter also returned and collected additional equipment from a seventh member of the team and dropped it on top of the mountain. With the extra equipment and extra members a second set of ropes was set up and a second team member was lowered to the other side of the dog.
This was a prolonged technical rescue that involved several ropes and climbing equipment.
Given that there was no human casualty or injuries it was possible to carry out the rescue safely and no time pressure.
"Given that it was a working sheepdog which a farmer was using to bring down sheep for the lambing season the team were very happy to respond to the incident. It was the right thing to do in the circumstances. As no human casualty was involved it made the situation easier to manage from a Covid-19 point of view," said a spokesperson.
SEMRA wish to thank Rescue 117 for their assistance in transporting team members and equipment to the scene of the incident. With the assistance of Rescue 117 it was possible to complete the rescue with a relatively small team on site.
One of the team members who himself is a sheep farmer was able to hunt the dog across into a nearby gully and the dog was then able to make her way back up to the top to the happy owner. The team of six made their way back down the the mountain with all the heights rescue equipment and were safely on their way home by 9pm.
A good news story with a positive and happy outcome in difficult times.
SEMRA would like to thank all the walkers who are staying away from the mountains at the moment. No other walkers were seen on the mountain or at the car parks during the incident.