The harrowing rescue required “two highly trained Kaua’i” waterfall rappellers after 48 hours of searching for the beloved hunting dog.
As any who’s ever bonded with a hunting dog knows, two full days of separation can feel a lifetime. Thankfully, this canine’s story has a happy ending.
48 hours into rescue efforts, Jane Porter Grace, beloved hunting dog to Skyla and Shawn Grace, was finally located: 500 feet below a Koke’e State Park Cliff.
“We were at the 1-mile marker and Jane started chasing a pig,” Skyla and Shawn Grace recount of the moments before their dog’s disappearance. “She chased it all the way down to Napali Coast. When we reached her, she was still moving back and forth on our GPS tracker. But we realized she went over the cliff. Shawn tried to reach her but was unable to go all the way down. She fell straight down a black wall over 500 feet,” they remark to local newspaper The Garden Island.
“He got about 60 yards from where she was located on the GPS,” Skyla adds of husband Shawn. “When he called her, she answered. We got home and started making phone calls.”
After desperate calls to family and friends alike, the couple were made aware of local rappellers: Caleb Morrison and Mark Esposito. A few more phone calls would land them the help they needed.
“Mark [Esposito] called us back and said he could help,” Skyla continues.
Pro-Rappellers Use Entire Skill-Set to Rescue Beloved Hunting Dog
Esposito and Morrison are renowned Kaua’i rappellers “known for rappelling off of waterfalls as a recreational activity,” the newspaper adds.
“Felt honored to help such an amazing family get back one of their family members,” Mark Esposito tells TGI. “Was really motivated by how their whole family came out to go search for their dog. Glad to put out rappelling skills to good use and help such a wonderful family in our community.”
His partner in rescue, Caleb Morrison, says he feels “like a million bucks” after the hunting dog’s daring rescue. “I was exhausted the next day, woke up having to climb. I was physically drained, but my emotions were super positive and happy it didn’t matter,” adds the member of a Kaua’i search & rescue team.
Together with Esposito, Morrison put his climbing skills – and drone – to use to locate Jane Porter Grace. After two full days stuck in the wilderness some 500 feet down a ravine, she was found.
“I was supposed to train with the search-and-rescue team’s canine dogs that day, but called them and said I was going to rescue a canine,” Morrison recalls. “They said, ‘wow, good luck.’”
“We met the couple,” he continues. “Shawn had his GPS tracker, and I had my drone. I brought it so we could see her. Mark was setting up, got our stuff, rappelled down three small waterfalls and one big waterfall. Then we sat with her and hanged out.”
Duo “Looked Out For” Dog During Rescue
Moreover, the two pros came ready not just as pro-rappellers, but as dog lovers, too. Morrison and Esposito kept Jane Porter calm with treats and comforting gestures before attempting to harness her for their ascent. And Skyla & Shawn Grace couldn’t be more grateful for it.
“We are so thankful that they reached out to us,” Skyla Grace continues. “When we got to the location and realized Jane was lower than expected, they didn’t hesitate. I can’t express my thanks to these men who reached out to strangers offering their help. When we got there and I saw the drops they had to go down I couldn’t believe that she survived and that they didn’t hesitate to rescue her.
“They are now part of our ‘ohana forever. Mark and Caleb, we can never thank you enough. We love you always. The Grace gang,” concludes the Grace’s
Porter Jane is doing well, TGI reports, only suffering a small limp and a few scratches after her incredible 500-foot descent.
[Source: The Garden Island]