A pooch is very lucky to be alive after falling into the canyon at Cypress Falls Park in West Vancouver.
The 85-pound Rottweiler, named Boss, was walking off leash with his owners just before sunset on Monday (Feb. 8) in the park when he went off trail and took a very big tumble off the cliff face.
Boss fell about 40 feet into the icy cold waters of Cypress Falls Creek and was able to scramble up onto a little ledge that was right by the river's edge while he waited for help.
Matt Furlot, assistant fire chief with West Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, said they got the call for help around 4:45 p.m., and it was a race against the clock to save the dog.
It took 16 firefighters to pull off the technical rescue and get Boss to safety.
“We had to use a rope system to descend into the canyon, and then we used our swift water rescue gear to cross the river and attach the dog, and then swim the dog back across and then we used the rope system to come back up the canyon,” explained Furlot.
It was 7 p.m. by the time the rescue was completed.
Furlot said the crew barely had enough daylight to get the job done, but in the end it was a successful outcome.
“It was one of those situations where, honestly, for weather wise and the time of day, it was really cutting it close to whether or not this would have been a positive outcome or not,” he said. “We won't do a rescue like that at night in the dark, and so we were really racing against daylight.”
WV Firefighters have just completed a High Angle and Swift Water rescue in the Cypress Falls Park. The patient shown below is in good condition and reunited with his owner who was very happy! WVFF’s are here for you 24/7/365 @WestVanFireDept @WestVanDistrict @BC_FireSafety pic.twitter.com/Ine1ja2Ygt— W V Fire & Rescue (@WestVanFireDept) February 9, 2021
He said Boss was “a very gentle dog” and they didn’t have any issues rescuing him. Aside from being very cold, tired and wet, Boss came out of the fall miraculously unscathed.
Furlot said it wasn’t the first time a dog had been in trouble in Cypress Falls Park, saying the area Boss slipped was very steep and basically sheer rock.
“It drops off very fast, so if the dog just ends up a little bit off the trail, all of sudden they're on a very steep bank that turns into a sheer cliff,” he said, adding that Boss was his third dog rescue in the last couple of years and there was at least one dog rescue a year in the area.
“I would say it's not a place to let the dogs run off leash.”
He said the owners did the right thing calling for help and they were very grateful their pooch came out safe from the ordeal.
Finishing up after dark, he said crew members escorted the owners out of the trail and back to safety.