Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

Published: March 26, 2006
Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard calls off search for lost dog at Brean Down

A torch-lit search of Brean Down was called off by Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards on Sunday night after a dog believed to have fallen over the steep cliffs was not found.

Stuart Browning of the Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard Cliff Rescue TeamThe animal's owners, David Staynings, 43, and Diana Benjamin, 44, from Redcliffe in Bristol had been walking their four-year-old greyhound, Blue, along the top of the Down when it ran over the cliff edge after a rabbit.

David said: "In a split second he'd gone over the cliffs and quickly went out of sight. It was a horrible moment."

The owners were unable to find the animal and at 6pm contacted Bristol police who referred them to the Coastguard.

With fading light and deteriorating weather, there was concern that the dog's owners could put themselves in danger by searching for the animal.

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard station officer Steve Bird said: "With fading light, heavy rain and gale force winds affecting the Down, our key concern was to ensure the dog's owners were safe."

"Our cliff rescue team also searched several hundred metres of the cliff face for the dog, but it was a disappointing outcome and the animal was not found."

Coastguards recommend staying well away from cliff edges and keeping dogs on leads.

Brean DownSeveral walkers have been injured in recent years on the steep cliffs of Brean Down.

Three people were rescued after becoming stranded by the incoming tide in May 2005 and a man suffered serious back and leg injuries when he fell over the cliffs in August 2004.

There was a happier story in August 2005 when a dog was successfully rescued after being trapped for two hours.

A later update on this story is available here.

The photos above show Stuart Browning of the Burnham Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team - who was involved in Sunday's incident - and Brean Down.


Couple gives up hope for lost greyhound on Brean Down
Coastguard team rescues man at Brean Down Fort
Three rescued from Brean Down fort
Dog rescued by Coastguards at Brean Down
Burnham Coastguard rehearses helicopter mud rescue

Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard Web site


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