September 20, 2015
Dog owner and his pet rescued after fall down cliffs at Brean Down

A dog owner and his pet were rescued by crews from Burnham-On-Sea after the animal fell down the steep cliffs of Brean Down on Sunday (September 20th).

BARB Search & Rescue's Spirit of Lelaina hovercraft flew the pair back to the safety of the beach after the dog was left injured following a 40ft fall down the cliffs on the southern side of the Down.

Coastguards from Burnham and Weston were called to the scene shortly before 2pm when the dog owner, from Bridgwater, dialled 999 on his mobile phone to raise the alarm.

The crews worked closely together, with the RNLI lifeboats retrieving the man and his pet, named Blaze, from the rocks and the hovercraft then flying them over the mudflats to safety.

"This was a great example of multi-agency team working," Dave Welland, Burnham Coastguard Officer, told

"The man had clambered down the cliffs to reach his dog at the water’s edge but then found he was unable to get back up."

"There was therefore concern for him and the dog, who were quite a distance from the shore. Our advice is always to keep dogs on leads while walking on Brean Down."

The crew onboard Burnham's RNLI lifeboat, the Staines Whitfield, had quickly spotted the man and dog on the rocks near the end of the Down. Two boat crew members were put ashore to assist the two to the water’s edge.

Burnham’s D-class lifeboat, Puffin, arrived soon after and was able to transport the dog and its owner to the water’s edge where, because of the mud flats, both were transferred to the BARB hovercraft, whose crew flew them to the waiting Coastguard rescue team.

RNLI helmsman Nick Edrich said: "We spotted the dog, which was obviously in distress with its owner on rocks near the end of the Down. Both lifeboats worked together to transport the animal to the waiting BARB hovercraft, which carried both across the Brean mud to the coastguard team. It was an excellent example of inter-agency working."


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