Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

Published: January 5, 2009
Missing dog returned to owner after rescue from Brean Down rocks

A dog that went missing for six days has been dramatically rescued from the foot of Brean Down, near Burnham-On-Sea, this week.

Max, a 12-year-old Border Collie, ran away from his owners during a beach walk at Uphill on December 29th and was missing until a fisherman spotted the shivvering animal on rocks on Sunday afternoon (January 4th).

Overjoyed owner Dave Rudge, pictured right with Max, this week praised fisherman John Thorne for carrying out the rescue.

"My wife and I were stunned to receive a call from John that Max had been found after so many days lost in freezing temperatures," Dave told Burnham-On-Sea.com. "It was wonderful news."

Fisherman John Thorne explained to Burnham-On-Sea.com how he had not fully recognised the animal from his boat, pictured below.

"It was a fluke that I spotted the dog on Angel Rock, half way along the base of Brean Down."

"I thought I'd seen a paper bag fluttering in the wind but as my boat drifted closer, I realised the shape was in fact a dog in a rock crevace."

"I tied my boat to the rocks, contacted the Coastguard, then clambered ashore to reach him."

"It was precarious - the rocks are very slippery - and the dog initially snarled and growled at me, but I managed to grab him, then move him onboard my boat before setting sail to Uphill."

"There was a telephone number on the dog's collar, so I was able to get in touch with Max's owners, who were understandably very relieved."

Brean DownA team of Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards who had been on patrol on Brean Down at the time helped the fisherman with communications.

Max's owner, Mr Rudge, said he and his wife had searched the beach for several days and also contacted dog wardens, the RSPCA and police to try and locate the animal.

"Our hopes of seeing Max again had been fading, so this is just fantastic. Max had presumably swum across the River Axe to reach the Down or walked inland some distance before getting across the estuary. He's spent the day at home sleeping, but is otherwise fine."

"We are incredibly relieved and grateful to John and the Coastguards for their help."


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