B.C. Labrador ‘Tanker’ rescued from steel beam with help from GPS, fire department – BC

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According to his owner Maureen Ward, Tanker is no stranger to getting himself into trouble.

It’s why the three-year-old Labrador wears a collar affixed with a special GPS tracker that sends his location in real-time to Ward’s smartphone application.

“He likes to hunt bunnies, unfortunately,” she explained.


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On Thursday morning, Ward said she let Tanker and his Labrador sibling out of the house south of Nanaimo, B.C., so they could go to the bathroom. That’s when the pair unexpectedly took off.

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Ward said she opened her ‘Tractive’ app, and when Tanker stopped moving, she got in the car to get it, thinking Tanker had dropped his collar. Her other Labrador spotted her, and brought her to the Nanaimo Nickel Brothers yard, she said.


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“We went over to the blue bins first, because I heard him crying but I couldn’t tell where,” she said. “We ultimately found him inside this giant beam.”


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Tanker was stuck inside an opening of a steel beam on the site. Ward couldn’t get him out and called 911.

The Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department soon arrived.

“Little different from your cat in the tree call.  None of us had seen this before,” Tyler Yarocki said in a Friday interview.

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Two hours later, with no progress made, “We resorted to cut the beam open,” he added, and Tanker got out safely.


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“They really took a lot of care to make sure and we stopped every once in a while to make sure he got a break,” Ward said.

“Tank came out, turned around and licked and licked and licked.”

Cashjen Cramer of the Nickel Brothers said the beam was custom-made and only used once more than 20 years ago “for the 2000 to 2001 retrofit of the Lion’s Gate Bridge in Vancouver.” The piece of equipment, which cost about $60,000, can be repaired.

Tanker cannot.

“I would’ve never found him in this beam, I believe, if it hadn’t been for the device,” Ward said, endorsing the tracker attached to his collar. “He came out glorious.”

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