At 1215hrs on 24th February, I received a call from Station Officer Burrows of the Norfolk Fire Service. He stated that he was at an incident where a dog was missing, believed to have entered a rabbit warren, and could we help in any way.
The Terrier dog Called Naz had gone missing 3 days earlier (Thursday) and the RSPCA were already on site with the owners.
Mark Wilson-North and I were deployed from our regional training session at Fakenham, with a Thermal Image Camera (TIC), Videoprobe, Trapped Person Locator (TPL) and spades. We arrived on the scene at 1512hrs.
The area to search was a disused railway line with steep embankments up both sides. Numerous rabbit tunnels were on both sides and owners believed Naz had disappeared in one of them as there were paw prints outside. Grass and Brambles made up the surface with sand underneath.
We commenced with the Videoprobe initially in all the obvious tunnels large enough for a Terrier to get in. We then went on to use the TPL with the acoustic sensor to see which tunnels linked up. The sensor was taped to chimney rods and entered approximately 3 metres into the largest hole in the embankment until it came up against an obstacle. We got the owner to call the dog using the microphone. On receiving no positive sounds we decided to remove some of the bank to where the obstacle was in order to enter the sensor in further and also the Videoprobe. Care had to be taken as the sand was collapsing in regularly.
After digging in a further 3 metres we then tried again with the Videoprobe that subsequently found nothing, followed by the acoustic probe again.
Consultation with the owners, the RSPCA and the Landowner then followed. Bringing in a digger to dig out the embankment was considered but due to the fact the dog had not actually been seen entering, nor could be traced, the search was called off.
Contact numbers were left with the owners and RSPCA in case they decided to search further the following day.
IRC left the site at 1530hrs.
Eastern Region Co-ordinator
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