Rescuers dig for two hours to pull dog from buried pillbox on beach

Sheringham and Cromer Coastguard with a dog which they rescued from a buried pillbox on the North Norfolk coast

Cromer and Sheringham Coastguard with Toby the cocker spaniel which they rescued from a buried pillbox on the North Norfolk coast near Weybourne. - Credit: Cromer and Sheringham Coastguard

Rescuers dug through earth and rubble for more than two hours to save a tiny dog stuck in a buried pillbox near a north Norfolk beach.

Toby the cocker spaniel got stuck in the pillbox at Weybourne, triggering a rescue operation involving the coastguard and firefighters.

Sheringham and Cromer Coastguard was called at 1.18pm on Sunday, July 11, to the dog trapped in the partially-buried pillbox near Muckleburgh Military Collection.

Toby, had got into the pillbox via one of the gun ports but after crawling inside the buried structure, had been unable to get out again.

Cromer and Sheringham Coastguard rescuing Toby the cocker spaniel from a buried pillbox on the North Norfolk coast.

Cromer and Sheringham Coastguard rescuing Toby the cocker spaniel from a buried pillbox on the North Norfolk coast. - Credit: Cromer and Sheringham Coastguard

Jerry Woodley, station officer for Sheringham Coastguard, said in his 38 years as a coastguard he had never had to rescue a dog from a pillbox.


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He said: "We have been called to dogs on cliffs, dogs on rocks but never a dog stuck in a pillbox. We were absolutely gazumped as to how to get him out.

"We started digging around the pillbox to see if we could find an opening, but the opening we had was not very good."

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The team then decided to dig down to where they thought the door to the pillbox might be but it had been filled in with soil, rubble and even part of a kitchen sink.

The rescuers eventually managed to create a small opening but it was not large enough for the dog to crawl out of and they had to keep digging.

Cromer and Sheringham Coastguard rescuing Toby the cocker spaniel from a buried pillbox on the North Norfolk coast.

Cromer and Sheringham Coastguard rescuing Toby the cocker spaniel from a buried pillbox on the North Norfolk coast. - Credit: Cromer and Sheringham Coastguard

Mr Woodley said he and his colleagues "tried everything" to get the dog out, even attempting to coax him out with another dog, but this did not work.

"After an hour we managed to find the door, two feet below the soil. One of our fears was that it has been bricked up but fortunately it had been filled with rubble," he said.

Mr Woodley said after clearing one last piece of large rubble from the door they were able to make enough space for Toby to get out and be reunited with his owner.

Mr Woodley said he and his colleagues were delighted the rescue had a happy ending.


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