Drain Technology took a telephone call late afternoon on Saturday from Abingdon fire brigade asking for help locating a lost dog down what was believed to be a redundant 300mm storm drain at Tilsley Park. A team was dispatched and on arrival found the fire brigade all around a ditch with an open ended pipe sticking out of the bank. The dog had apparently gone in to the pipe some hours earlier, but not been heard since.
Our team initially attempted to put a small push rod camera up the pipe as it was believed the drain only went a short distance, but after pushing around 20 meters it soon became apparent this was not going to be a straight forward look-see job as the drain ran further than originally thought.
Drain Technology decided to ask any of their engineers not working, but who had the right type of camera on their vehicles to assist. Two different engineers turned up in their own time on a Saturday night to help with the rescue. The larger, more powerful, remote controlled crawler camera was used and after some effort the team managed to get the camera over some light debris in the pipe to find a hidden manhole chamber at around 100m up the run. The chamber was hidden and believed to be located under a newly laid 4g football pitch making any excavation or exposure at this time impossible due to the need for permission and equipment. Drain Technology confirmed its approximate location using drain tracing methods, but could not travel any further with the kit they had at the time due to the debris levels in the manhole. The team along with the fire brigade watched the camera screen and believed they saw something move further down the pipe, but as the camera could not travel any further, this could not be confirmed.
After hours on site and no further progression on locating the dog or confirming if it was still even in the drain, the fire brigade were forced to call it for the night and other alternative arrangements would be attempted. The dog was eventually rescued two days later by Thames Water contractors who managed to get a different type of camera through the hidden manhole to find what we thought was something moving further down the pipe on the Saturday, was in fact the dog stuck at the end of the run. Thames Water got permission from the land owners and excavated down through the 4g pitch rescuing the dog three days after it initially went missing.
"I am very proud of my team, as not only did the company but also its engineers give up their time, free of charge to assist the fire brigade in what must have been a horrible, distressing situation for the dog’s owner. I am glad we managed to help initially with the investigations and manhole locating, and were able to give Thames Water and the fire brigade a good basis to work from with their on going rescue."