STEWART FALLS, Utah (ABC4 News) – A dog was rescued from underneath 40 feet of ice in Steward Falls on Saturday afternoon.
Utah County Sheriff’s responded to reports of a dog that fell in the river near Stewart Falls above the Sundance Ski resort in Provo Canyon.
Officials learned when they got to the scene that the dog was with its owner, Yichoo Su, and others when it wandered off.
The week before, an avalanche came through the area depositing 40 feet of snow at the base of Stewart Falls.
A witness said they saw the dog fall through a small opening next to a cliff and disappear under the snow and ice. They assumed the dog had died, but a search and rescue team responded and discovered that the dog was still alive.
A search and rescue member dug a hole above the snow a short distance from where the dog fell in with a shovel. They were able to see that the dog was still alive and moving slightly through the hole.
SAR members were able to set up a redundant anchoring system, allowing one team member to safely rappel in the cavern where the dog was curled up to one side. The dog was secured in a harness according to officials and raised through the hole in the ceiling of the cavern.
The rescue was successful, and the dog was reunited with its owner.
Authorities warn those engaging in outdoor activities to be aware of their surroundings, published avalanche warning information and the risks that exist at different times of the year.