Dog owner’s horror as pet falls from cliff before heroes launch rescue mission

A careless dog learned that it’s not just cats that have nine lives after it fell down one of the highest and steepest cliffs on the Somerset coast this weekend.

Luckily, the pooch didn’t fall the full distance but ended up trapped about halfway down the cliff near Lilstock.

Rather than improvise a rescue themselves, the dog’s owner contacted Watchet Coastguard who set out a team to help.

Once the dog was safely recovered, the Coastguards posted the story of the rescue to their Facebook page.

“Yesterday morning,” they wrote “our team were tasked to a report of a pet dog having gone over some of the highest and steepest cliffs along our guard near to the Lilstock Tower and luckily becoming stuck half way down rather than falling all the way down which could have proven fatal."

They say the dog walker did exactly the right thing by calling them in and not attempting to rescue the dog themselves.

After responding to the h999 call, they wrote, “an immediate rescue was undertaken by one of our Cliff Rescue Technicians Gary Morgan utilising our specialist animal rescue bag which is attached into the ‘Cliff Technicians” equipment set up, and allows us to safely recover an animal.

‘Having set up the cliff top holdfasts [a series of metal stakes] and connecting in the main and safety rescue lines, Gary descended to the dog and was able to attach the guide lead onto it, and then encourage the dog into the safety of the large bag.”

“With more of the team now on scene,” they added, “they were able to recover both Gary and the pet dog back up the cliff to safety, where it was reunited with its owner uninjured.”

The team added that dog walkers should always keep their pets on a lead when walking near unguarded cliff edges, and that even the best-behaved dog can make a mistake if it’s chasing ball, or a bird or a rabbit.

Always remember, they say, that in any coastal emergency it’s best to dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

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