Sam was looking remarkably well after her ordeal, rescuers said. Photo: Chris Little

Sam was looking remarkably well after her ordeal, rescuers said. Photo: Chris Little

A missing dog was successfully rescued from a disused Lake District mine after spending two days underground.

Volunteers from the Cumbria Ore Mines Rescue Unit mounted an operation to find sheepdog Sam, who disappeared on Monday.

Chris Jones, team leader with the rescuers, said: “The dog had been with a local shepherd from Buttermere who had been gathering his sheep high on Coledale Hause near Keswick. At some point the dog had disappeared and despite his best efforts couldn’t be found.

“The area is on the flanks of Grisedale Pike, directly above the high workings of the Force Crag Mine, the last working metal mine in the national park, which closed in the 1990s.

“The upper workings which stope out to surface are notoriously deep and dangerous due to the friable nature of the rock underground. They are well fenced off and it was thought the dog may have jumped over and gone down one of the holes which are though to descend at least 60m.”

On Tuesday the shepherd contacted Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team, who alerted Comru, which carries out cave and mine rescue in the Lake District.

The team member is lowered into the mine. Photo: Chris Little

The team member is lowered into the mine. Photo: Chris Little

Mr Jones assembled a small team to head up onto the fell to look for the dog on Wednesday.

Rescuers descended a couple of the mine’s stopes – the open chambers left behind after ore has been extracted – with no results. They then heard a dog’s bark and the animal was spotted on a ledge about 20m below the surface. The dog seemed alert, but wasn’t moving, Mr Jones said.

He said: “Team member Tracey Binks was then lowered over the edge with a special small animal bag and after a quick look to see if the dog was injured, coaxed her into the bag and zipped it up.

“Both were then hoisted up to surface. The dog, a collie, had scraped herself a hole on the ledge and had been there for two days so was looking remarkably well for her ordeal. She still managed to scoff a bag of Tyrell’s crisps – all the team had – and walk down to the main mine buildings far below.

“Her owner had already been told that the dog had been found so was at the bottom to collect her. A great result.”

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