Eastbourne lifeboat launched to recover a dog from beneath cliffs
A visitor to Eastbourne was walking her spaniel dog along the cliff-top between Beachy Head and the Belle Tout lighthouse when the animal suddenly ran off in pursuit of a seagull and fell off the cliff
The distraught owner contacted the emergency services and Eastbourne RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch in the faint hope the dog had survived the fall.
The volunteer crew of the inshore lifeboat, Laurence and Percy Hobbs, were on scene shortly thereafter but unfortunately the animal had not survived.
The dog was recovered from the surf and taken to the steps at Birling Gap where it was passed to the local UK Coastguard Rescue Team and the devastated owner.
An RNLI spokesman said: 'This is an all-too-regular occurrence - it is such a shame because no matter how well trained a dog maybe, it is in their nature to sometimes see something and chase after it. If people are walking their dogs without a lead there is the chance for tragedies like this to happen. We would always advise people to keep dogs on leads whilst walking on this, or any other, elevated stretch of coastline.
'We are really sorry for the owners for their loss. Losing a pet can be devastating and we only wish the outcome had been different.'
Notes to editors
Eastbourne has celebrated over 185 years as a lifeboat station and currently operates an all-weather Tamar Class lifeboat ‘Diamond Jubilee’ and an inshore D-Class lifeboat ‘Laurence and Percy Hobbs’.
RNLI media contacts For more information please contact Bob Jeffery, Eastbourne RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07802 878017 LPObob@btinternet.com
Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 firstname.lastname@example.org for enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.