Dogs rescued after falling down cliff

Coastguards from West Bay were called out after two dogs were reported to have fallen down the cliff face just south of Highlands End Holiday Park.

Backup was requested and additional officers and a second rescue vehicle from the coastguard’s flank team at Lyme Regis were dispatched to the scene.

Two senior coastal operations officers who were in the area at the time also responded to assist.

Once on the scene and under the command of the West Bay officer in charge, a roped edge safety system was put in place so an officer could safely approach the edge of the cliff and get a firm location on the dogs.

The first dog, a cocker spaniel, was found to be freely moving around the upper cliff levels whilst the second dog, a collie, was lying injured and reluctant to move.

A full cliff rescue system was set up and a ‘cliff technician’ was lowered down the cliff face to the friendly dogs.

The spaniel was recovered first and placed into the team’ animal rescue bag. Both the officer and dog were then winched back up to the top of the cliff where she was reunited with her owner.

The officer was then re-deployed over the edge of the cliff to recover the collie.

The dog had sustained injuries to his legs and was unable to be moved without causing further pain and distress, so an emergency vet was requested to attend the scene. The officer was then recovered back to the top of the cliff pending the vet’s arrival.

A second technician was rigged to complete the rescue.

Once on scene, the vet was placed into a cliff rescue harness, given a helmet and briefed for the descent.

He was then attached to ropes with the cliff technician who took the vet down the cliff face to the injured animal in an assisted descent.

Once with the collie, the vet was able to administer pain relief and a sedative so the dog could safely be put into the animal rescue bag without any further distress.

The dog and officer were then winched back to the top of the cliff while the vet remained behind in a place of safety.

Once the dog was recovered, the cliff technician descended the cliff for the final time to recover the vet back to the top of the cliff.

The teams were then stood down to return to station.

Coastguards said they hoped the collie has a full and speedy recovery and special thanks goes out to the team from Bredy Vets.

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 and if the worst happens, never, ever attempt a self-rescue as you could be putting your life needlessly at risk.

Instead dial 999 and ask for the coastguard who will send a specially trained and equipped cliff rescue team.