A Coastguard helicopter spotted a woman scaling the cliffs of Brean Down to rescue her dog following a fall on Saturday (July 25th).
The helicopter crew called out Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards to help the lady shortly after 11am amid concerns for her welfare.
“Our Coastguard Helicopter 187 was out on a training session in the area and as they passed over Brean Down they spotted a woman scaling down the cliff towards a dog that had fallen from the top,” said a Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard spokesman.
“They immediately requested our team and kept an eye on her from a safe distance to prevent any downwash blowing other walkers off their feet while preparing to take any action if necessary.”
“As she got back to the top of the cliff the helicopter team winched one of their crew down to meet her and ensure she was OK and to give her some safety advice and how to avoid any injuries to herself or her pet.”
“At its highest point Brean Down is 318 feet (97 metres) high and has long slopes that suddenly end in a sharp drop to rocks below. There is wildlife up there including birds, rabbits and goats, all of which have their own scent and know the whole of Brean Down better than any visiting dog.”
“The dog has a natural instinct to chase and hunt and this kicks in when faced with all these exciting sights and smells.”
“They get a faint view of something interesting they want to investigate and they are off. Unfortunately for them they don’t realise the wildlife they are chasing disappear into a hole or hiding spot and the dog runs out of grass to run on and falls from the edge.”
“We have been to multiple cases where the dog is either injured (broken bones etc) or sadly died from the fall.”
He adds: “Our advice is to stay away from the edges, especially in this weather where the rain was heavy making rocks and cliff edges slippery. Do not try and self-rescue the dog. Dial 999 immediately and ask for the Coastguards Most importantly, keep dogs on leads while on any high cliffs we want everyone to enjoy the views and open spaces safely.”