Lucky escape for cliff fall dog courtesy of coastguard and Scarborough RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

A dog which fell down a cliff on Friday 24 September was rescued by the Coastguard and Scarborough RNLI in a joint operation.

Library photo of the inshore lifeboat

RNLI/Lucy Collins

Library photo of the inshore lifeboat

The border collie tumbled about halfway down the 350ft cliff near the Blue Dolphin holiday park and Cunstone Nab, a few miles south of Scarborough.

The charity's inshore lifeboat, which launched at about 8.30pm, used night-vision equipment to detect the dog from the sea.

When its location was confirmed, the crew of three volunteers guided a cliff technician from the coastguard team as he abseiled down.

However, the dog was understandably frightened and aggressive so the coastguard was unable to coax it into the special hoist which is used in such situations.

The coastguard’s search team walked with the dog’s owner a long way along the clifftop to a point where they could descend to the sea, then back via the slippery rocks on the shoreline until they were below the dog. They had to dodge crashing waves shortly after one of the highest tides of the year. A strong swell and perilous rocks prevented the lifeboat from landing ashore.

It then took a long time for the owner to persuade the dog to descend the cliff. It was walked back along the shore to be checked over. The dog was in one piece, no bones broken.

It was one of Scarborough RNLI’s longest shouts of the year; the lifeboat wasn’t recovered and rehoused until midnight. The lifeboat helm was keen to praise the coastguard teams for a job very well done; great skill and perseverance was required to help the dog and owner.

RNLI Media contacts

For more details please call Scarborough RNLI press officer Dave Barry on 07890 322992.


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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.

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