Firefighters have rescued a pair of missing lambs that were found down a disused mine shaft in Northern Ireland.

The two lambs from a farm in County Antrim had wandered off and were missing for three days, only to be discovered down a 12m (39ft) mine shaft.

A specialist crew from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) worked with colleagues from Ballymoney fire station at the farm on the Cushendall Road.

Did you know?: March in Ireland is known as "lambing season" for farmers, where it's considered the best time of year for lambs to be born. During the month farmers can be kept busy from dawn to dusk helping ewes give birth to their offspring. 

The missing lambs were found after three days

The missing lambs were found after three days

Gas Monitors and Rope Rescue equipment was used in the rescue, which lasted just under an hour and a half. The lambs were found in a distressed state but thankfully unharmed and were then returned to their grateful owners.

Northern Ireland has a rich heritage of mining across the country. This has resulted in over 2,400 known abandoned mine workings due to the property or the owner no longer existing. 

After the rescue operation, the NIFRS took to Twitter, taking the moment to enjoy a little bit of humor on the situation, but also to warn the public of the dangers of mine shafts.

These lambs are looking a little sheepish...

Last night Crews from Ballymoney Station and the Specialist Rescue Team, worked with the Farm Owner to rescue these lambs who had been missing for 3 days. (1/2)

— Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (@NIFRSOFFICIAL) March 27, 2021

A spokesperson for the Northern Irish Fire and Rescue said, "NIFRS would like to thank the lambs’ owners for showing restraint, not entering the mine shaft without proper equipment, and calling the emergency services to perform the rescue.

We would like to remind the public of the dangers of entering disused mines or sub surface work areas and advise people never to enter such locations.”