Where’s Willy? Labrador rescued by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service after falling 20ft down a well in Eastleigh

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The seven-year-old canine, named Willy, accidentally fell down the well last night (Thursday 14 January) in a woodland near Boyatt Lane, Eastleigh. Willy’s owner, Roger Bacon, found his beloved pet after hearing his barks coming from the pit.

The pair – along with Roger’s second dog – had been out for their usual evening walk when Roger realised Willy was no longer in tow. Roger searched the woodlands, following Willy’s cries, to find the opening concealed by ivy.

The well that Willy was trapped in was deep and cramped, and he could be heard splashing in water at the bottom.

Roger said, “I’ve lived in the area for years and never knew this well was hidden there. Anyone’s pet or even a child could be in danger of falling in.”

Animal Rescue Advisor Jim Green, a member of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s dedicated Animal Rescue Team, was on scene – along with a specialist rope rescue team from Eastleigh Fire Station.

A plan was set, and Firefighter Pete Richards was hooked up to a rope pack and descended into the narrow well to retrieve the Labrador. Willy was secured and carefully lifted out by firefighters using specialist rescue equipment.


Willy was then taken to a decontamination area set up by HFRS and was cleaned with warm water from Eastleigh’s fire engine. Thankfully Willy didn’t sustain any injuries from the fall.

Roger said, “Willy has had a much-needed bath and a good chew on his bone this morning and seems very well.

“I hope other dog owners never have to go through the experience I had, but it’s a lesson to beware of hidden wells and pits when out walking.

“I am extremely grateful to HFRS for their quick and swift response in rescuing Willy.”

Animal Rescue Advisor Jim Green said, “When animals get into difficulty, there is always the desire from the public to help. As demonstrated by the complexity of this rescue, it is important to recognise your limitations and if necessary seek specialist advice.

“HFRS are proud of our response to animal incidents by bringing knowledge and experience to reassure the public that we are responding for their safety and the safety of their furry family members.”