January 30, 2017
Fresh warning to Brean Down dog walkers as pet is rescued after fall

A fresh safety warning has been issued to dog owners who use Brean Down after a pet was rescued yesterday following a fall down the cliffs.

As first reported here on Sunday, Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards and a lifeboat crew were called out to retrieve the Sprocker on the southern side of the Down near the fort. It was successfully pulled out of the sea.

But Dave Welland, Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard Station Officer, told that dogs should be kept on leads on Brean Down to avoid further incidents - a message that is also explained on signs like the one above.

"This is a timely reminder that dogs should be kept on leads at all times when on Brean Down," said Dave. "Often we are told by the owners that their dogs are well trained and don't run off."

"There have been several incidents around the coast in recent weeks involving dogs of cliffs, and sadly the majority die from their falls. This dog was lucky and came away just cold and shaken, but do you really want to risk the life and safety of your beloved pet?"

"Our safety advice is always keep pets on leads when on high ground, no matter how well trained or obedient they are, and never try and self-recover the animal as you may put yourself and others in danger," he said.

During Sunday's incident, Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards were paged immediately and Burnham RNLI, who were on a local training exercise, were diverted to pick up the dog from the cold water.

"As we arrived on scene the dog had been plucked from the water and was being safely handed over to an awaiting Coastguard Rescue Officer and a very relieved family by an RNLI crew member. If you or your pet gets into danger along the coast, cliff edges or beaches then dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

Helmsman Tim Walters nosed the Burnham Reach lifeboat onto the rocks, whilst a crewmember clambered up to assist the animal. The dog slid down the rocks into the water, and swam towards the lifeboat where it and the crewmember were recovered and the pet transferred to the care of a waiting Coastguard recue team, plus grateful owners.

Lifeboat helmsman Tim Walters said: "This was a well executed, fast response, taking no longer than three minutes or so. The owners were extremely grateful."

Pictured: The steps leading up onto Brean Down, and above the scene on Sunday morning with an RNLI crewmember with the dog on Brean beach


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