Dog dies after cliff fall

The West Bay Coastguard Rescue Team was paged last week by Solent Coastguard NMOC (National Maritime Operations Centre) to reports of a dog that had fallen from Burton Cliffs between Hive Beach and Freshwater.

Five rescue officers from West Bay including the team’s station officer and deputy station officer quickly responded to the station, picked up their equipment and rescue vehicle, then headed for Hive Beach.

In case a cliff rescue was required, backup was requested from the Coastguard flank team at Lyme Regis and they started making their way to the scene.

Whilst en-route, an update was received from Solent saying that one of the owners had located the dog which was injured on the beach, the other owner was waiting for at the National Coastwatch at Hive Beach.

As a cliff rescue was now not required, the Lyme Regis team were stood down whilst the West Bay officers continued to Hive Beach.

On arrival, officers were met by one of the owners who informed them that the dog had died.

Four officers set off along the beach to meet the remaining owner who was carrying the dog by himself back towards the car park at Hive Beach.

He was understandably very distressed, officers provided him with some water, blankets, and supported him back to the car park.

Coastguards said this was a very sad end to a simple holiday walk and their heartfelt thoughts went out to the owners.

The Coastguard recommend that you always keep your dog on a lead on the cliffs and coastal paths.

Some dogs, especially smaller ones, can have difficulty seeing the cliff edge. If the worst happens, never, attempt to rescue it yourself. Instead dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

The Coastguards thank the NCI at Hive Beach for their assistance during this callout.