A DOG trapped for five days on a cliff was returned safely to its owners yesterday (15/12/09). Sam, a 13-year-old Springer Spaniel, was rescued from a narrow ledge at Tormore Cliffs above Glencar Lake in north Leitrim.

It took Sligo Leitrim MRT more than four hours to bring the dog to safety on Monday. Alan Sayers from Sligo and Leitrim Mountain Rescue said the operation was carried out in difficult conditions.  “We were on an exercise in the area on Sunday so we were kitted-out and at the scene within 10 minutes when we got the call. But it was pitch-dark by that time and we had to abandon the mission until the next morning,” Mr Sayers said.Meanwhile, the dog was barking in distress while balancing on a narrow ledge with very little room to move. It took four hours for a mountain rescue team of four to bring the dog to safety. One team member abseiled 20ft down a cliff face towards Sam after ropes were anchored to the top.

But the animal was so weak that it was a dead weight and as a result it was impossible to carry him up the slope. Instead, the rescuer abseiled a further 60ft down the cliff to ground level with the dog in his arms. Mr Sayers, who remained on top of the cliff holding the ropes, said: “It was very precarious because there was so much loose rock so it had to be done very slowly. It was a tricky operation.”

After a small amount of food and water Sam was soon wagging his tail. The Gilmartin family, who live in Ballintrillick village, Co Sligo, about 20km from where the dog was found, were reunited with their pet yesterday.

Further details -  Irish Independent Article 

14 year old Springer Spaniel Sam, who was trapped on the mountains at Glencar for five days is reunited with his owners, thanks to Sligo/Leitrim Mountain Rescue team at Glencar Co. Sligo. L-R Annie Gilmartin, owner, Conal Sexton, mountain rescue, Andy Gilmartin, Mark Magennis who found the dog, Heidi Wickham, mountain rescue and Mairead Gilmartin. Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8

14 year old Springer Spaniel Sam, who was trapped on the mountains at Glencar for five days is reunited with his owners, thanks to Sligo/Leitrim Mountain Rescue team at Glencar Co. Sligo. L-R Annie Gilmartin, owner, Conal Sexton, mountain rescue, Andy Gilmartin, Mark Magennis who found the dog, Heidi Wickham, mountain rescue and Mairead Gilmartin. Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8

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