An 84-year-old man escaped with only minor injuries after spending four days trapped in a well shaft on his remote property in the northern part of Vancouver Island.

Bob Bennett was found by a police dog after his friend became concerned that he had not heard from the elderly man in several days and called police.

Barry Christenson told Mounties that he had gone to Bennett’s home and found the dog home alone. Some items left behind seemed to indicate that Bennett had not planned to be away for any length of time.


Mounties at the Port Alice detachment initiated the search for Bennett on Wednesday morning but heavy rain and rugged terrain made search efforts arduous.

A police dog tracked Bennett to a dry well shaft on the side of a mountain. At the bottom of the 2.4-metre shaft officers found Bennett alive and hungry.

“Mr. Bennett, at 84 years old, has shown us that age means nothing when you have the will to survive,” RCMP Cpl. Michelle LeBrun said. “He has left us with one of those stories that only come around once or twice in your career.”

Bennett was transported to the Port McNeill and District Hospital for assessment and has already been released.

He told officers he was attempting to locate a water source on his property when he entered the dry well shaft and became trapped.

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