West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Technical Rescue Unit’s rope rescue skills were called upon over the weekend when a beloved family pet found itself stuck in a well in West Chiltington.
Six year-old Charlie the cat had been missing for two days when he was discovered around 20 feet down inside a neighbour’s garden well, and floating on a section of the wooden well cover which had also fallen in.
The Technical Rescue Unit (TRU) were mobilised to the residential property in the village shortly before 3pm on Sunday afternoon. TRU Watch Manager Mick Lewin said: “Charlie had an incredibly lucky escape, and he was very fortunate to be able to climb onto the wooden well cover which had also fallen down the well to keep himself out of the water.
“When we arrived we quickly realised the only way of getting Charlie out safely was to go down inside the well ourselves using a line rescue and bring him out.
“This was quite a challenging rescue because the well was quite narrow, but fortunately we were able to lower a member of the crew down safely, and after some negotiations and reassurances, he was able to retrieve Charlie back up to safety.
“We were so pleased to be able to reunite him with his owners, and thankfully he wasn’t injured despite his ordeal.
“But I think it is safe to say that he has definitely used up one of his nine lives during this escapade.”