Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

August 26, 2005
Stranded dog pulled to safety by Coastguards at Brean Down

A dog called Lucky lived up to its name when it was rescued by Coastguards this week after being trapped for two hours on cliffs at Brean Down.

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard's cliff rescue team leapt into action after several people were spotted trying to climb the dangerous cliffs to retrieve the terrified animal from a narrow ledge.

In an effort to avoid both a human and animal tragedy, the Coastguards coaxed the people down and then set up a rope pulley system at the top of the cliffs to lower two team members, Neil Mynett and David Welham, down to the seven-year-old Great Dane.

They attached a harness to the animal and then pulled her up several hundred metres to the top where a waiting RSPCA inspector gave her a check-over and released her to the much-relieved owners.

Burnham Coastguard Station Officer Steve Bird said: "A crowd of almost 50 people had gathered around us to watch the rescue and they responded with rapturous applause when we returned the animal to the arms of its owners."

"The dog was perched on a very narrow ridge of rock and was so frightened that there was a real risk she'd get startled and get into further difficulties if we hadn't been particularly careful."

Owner Terry White of Worle, near Weston-super-Mare, praised the Coastguard team for their work: "They team did a fantastic job - we're very grateful to them all."

He explained: "We'd been enjoying a walk along the Down when Lucky spotted some goats grazing in the bracken and was off like a shot down after them. We searched without any luck and were starting to fear the worst but a couple came up from the beach and said they'd seen Lucky on a small ledge.

"Several heroes said they'd have a go at climbing down to her, but my wife thought it would be much safer to call 999."

Mr Bird said she'd done the right thing by contacting the emergency services and added: "It is always important that people never try and rescue stranded animals themselves, in turn putting themselves at risk. The owners in this case did the right thing by dialling 999."

RELATED LINKS:

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard Web site




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