A DOG which had been swept into a tunnel after heavy rain was rescued by firefighters this morning.

Crews from St Helens, joined by the search and rescue officers, were called to Queens Park after the West Highland terrier became trapped.

A firefighter was lowered down to the dog on a safety rope before returning it to dry land.

Watch Manager Gary Kay, a member of the Search and the Rescue Team who attended the call-out, said: “The dog was in a small weir type area which had a grate in a tunnel.

"The tunnel was around four feet in diameter. The dog appears to have been swept through the grate into the tunnel by the water but had managed to climb out on to a ledge that ran down the tunnel.

"We could hear barking from the tunnel when we arrived.

“Firefighters from Eccleston Community Fire Station had already set up rope systems to carry out the rescue when we arrived. A firefighter from Eccleston was also near to the dog trying to keep it calm.

“The water was fairly fast-flowing so one member of the Search and Rescue Team climbed down, attached to safety ropes and harnesses, to get into the mouth of the tunnel and rescue the dog.”

A saw was used to cut through a grill before the terrier was rescued.