A man and his dog were rescued by Ilfracombe RNLI from the bottom of a cliff at Bull Point, Devon, after a normal walk went awry.
The German Shepherd, named Marley, was walking by the cliff edge and dropped his stick, which then tumbled over the edge. In an attempt at retrieving the stick, fell into the water below and was unable to get out. His owner made his way to the bottom to help his dog, but was unable to get back up the 40 foot cliff.
After reports of their predicament came in, the volunteer crew at Ilfracombe RNLI launched the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) The Barry & Peggy High Foundation. Two Coastguard rescue teams were called to the incident as well as the Newquay Coastguard helicopter, and the all-weather lifeboat was first to arrive on scene.
“Coxswain Carl Perrin instructed for the inflatable X-class boat to be put in the water, with a line keeping it secured to the ALB, so they could reach the shore,” a statement reads.
“Two crew members took the X-class to the shore, where the casualty and dog were both uninjured. They were brought to the ALB on the X-class, with the two crew members swimming back to the lifeboat so they could remain socially distant. The lifeboat was then back at the station around 12.25pm.”
Once back to safety, Marley’s owner said, “I really can’t thank the RNLI enough for coming to help us.”
Coxswain Carl Perrin said, “We would like to remind everyone to please keep their dogs on leads if they’re walking close to cliff edges and remember the best thing to do if your pet gets into trouble at the coast is don’t enter the water yourself, instead call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
“We’re all very glad there was a positive outcome in this case.”
This is not the first time a RNLI crew saves helps out a person and a dog at once: in 2017, a crew from the RNLI’s Tower lifeboat station rescued a man and a dog stranded in the Thames, after the man dove in to help the dog who’d fallen in.