A fresh warning about keeping dogs on leads on Brean Down has been issued by Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards after a pet sadly died in a fall on Sunday (August 21st).
A team of Burnham Coastguards and an RNLI lifeboat from Weston were called to an area near Brean Down Fort at 9.47am where the dog’s distraught owners had raised the alarm.
The body of the dog was found near the base of the cliffs by the lifeboat crew.
A Coastguard spokesman said that the incident had been “a timely reminder that no matter how well you think your dog is trained, or how good its recall is, they are still dogs that love to chase, run, and explore, so at all times they must be kept on leads on high ground.”
He adds: “While out walking their two dogs, one of them was exploring a little too enthusiastically and disappeared from view. Despite having a good recall, the dog was off and running.”
“There was some doubt about where the dog was last seen and where it was heading, only a rough area of where they were walking. Two team members conducted a search from the Brean Down Fort towards the highest point of the Down.”
“The others used binoculars to keep a visual on the undergrowth for any sign of the dog moving through it. After talking to the operations centre in Milford Haven, an RNLI lifeboat from Weston was launched to search the base of the Down as from the water they can get a full view of the sides and base that we can’t from the top.”
“After a while a message was sent that the dog had been found but unfortunately it was not a happy outcome. The dog was placed onboard the lifeboat and transferred to the north side to two team members and it was then taken to the visibly upset owners.”
“A very sad day for them and a reminder why it is so important to keep dogs on leads at all times on any high ground. The day before we had spoken to a family with a dog off lead and advised them to put it on a lead, they said the very same thing… my dog is very good and doesn’t run off.”
“This is always the first thing we are told when attending these incidents, sadly it only needs to happen once. Please remind all owners that safety should never be forgotten when walking dogs. If the worst does happen, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
The National Trust, which manages Brean Down, has installed several warning signs on the steps and roadway up the Down encouraging dog owners to keep dogs on leads following several deaths of pets over the years.
Pictured: Crews at the scene of the incident on Brean Down (Photos: Burnham Coastguards)