The dramatic rescue of a 9-year-old Morgan horse from a 20-foot deep irrigation well near China Camp State Park brought cheers and tears of relief after the animal struggled to survive for over two hours and rescuers from all over Marin County tried to lift him out of the well on Monday evening.
Around 4 p.m. caretaker Greg Alvarnez came home to the small ranch in the 600 block of North San Pedro Road in San Rafael, California, and discovered Buddy, who weighs over 1,000 pounds, had fallen through the cover of the well. The well is brick-lined and about 8 feet in diameter, according to the Marin Independent Journal report.
San Rafael Fire Department was first to respond to a call for help about 4:30 p.m. Buddy was struggling to keep his head above the water. "It was unclear how long the horse had been in the well," San Rafael fire Battalion Chief Jeff Rowan told the Journal, "It was floating but getting tired and frustrated."
Ad-Lite Crane Services of Novato was quickly contacted because it was obvious human hands alone could not save Buddy. The Marin County Sheriff's horse posse rescue unit and the humane society also came to assist, along with veterinarians and local horse owners.
At least two dozen people eventually ended up at the scene and worked together to get harnesses around the horse, the Journal reports. San Rafael firefighters pumped a thousand gallons of water into the well to get Buddy closer to the top of the well structure so that he could be lifted out.
At 6:30 p.m. the Ad-Lite crane triumphantly lifted Buddy from the well as onlookers cheered.
Sources: Marin Independent Journal