Couple with 2 Dogs Rescued from Letchworth State Park

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TheLCN - "A couple and their dogs were rescued Sunday evening after getting trapped in a steep section of the Genesee River gorge.

State park police received a call at 4:48 p.m. from an area near the Hogsback overlook, approximately halfway between the park’s Perry and Mt. Morris entrances.

One of the victims managed to make his way back to the top through a steep ravine and met rescuers as they arrived, park police said. It was determined the other victim and their two dogs — a bulldog and a mastiff weighing 100 pounds or more — were about halfway down the 400-foot gorge in an area described as extremely steep and wooded.

The steep section lasts about 200 feet before it transitions to a sheer vertical shale wall with several hundred feet to the bottom, park police said.

Park police trained in rope rescue, along with area firefighters and state police, responded to the scene.

While officers set up rope systems, firefighters brought in portable lighting and a state police helicopter staged in the area.

The second victim was helped to the top a short time later, but it was determined both dogs were a considerable distance down in the gorge. A senior rope rescue team member was lowered and quickly brought the bulldog to the top, but a second rescuer was sent in to help with the larger mastiff.

“Working through difficult circumstances, including vertical rises, blown-down trees and icy conditions, the rescuers were able to reunite the 100 plus-pound mastiff with his owners and bulldog companion,” park police officers said in a news release.

It was later determined one of the dogs had slipped in an icy area and broke away from his leash, slipping to the ravine. The second dog also broke free and followed the first.

Park police said the couple followed trying to help the dogs back up again but were unable to do so, before ultimately calling 911 from a cellphone."

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