Mendip Cave Rescue received a message from Wiltshire Police at 17:30 on Wednesday 20th February, regarding an incident involving a lost dog near Box Stone Mines. A Jack Russell terrier had apparently entered a small hole more than a day earlier and could be heard barking, but efforts to extract him had so far failed. Four local cavers met at Quarry Hill, Box at 18:15 as Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service were departing. The Jack Russell (called "Patch") could be heard intermittently through a small hole clogged with leaf litter at the base of a rock outcrop. On inspection of the site it was decided that Patch did not get into the hole that way, so a search for an alternative way in was undertaken. A small, very old, low entry on the south side of the outcrop seemed most likely, so one caver crawled in calling to Patch, and coaxed him towards the entrance. A couple of minutes later Patch appeared on the surface for a slightly tearful reunion with his owners. Patch appeared uninjured and none the worse for its stay underground, and the incident was closed at 19:03.
Photographs of Patch kindly provided by Derek Hawkins