Saturday, 18 September 2010

Busy Afternoon

The Swanage Coastguard IRT was tasked this afternoon to assist with a dog which had fallen over the cliff at South Beach Studland. From memory this is the fourth of fifth in the last few weeks. The Swanage Inshore Lifeboat (RNLI) was also tasked.

On route a second call came in stating that a lady had fallen from a horse at Old Harry Rocks and had broken her leg/ankle. Obviously this took precedence. The Swanage Coastguard Team re-routed to old Harry to meet Rescue Helicopter 106 who airlifted the lady to hospital. Naturally we wish her a speedy recovery.

R106 On Scene Old Harry

In the meantime Swanage Inshore Lifeboat proceeded to South Beach to recover the dog and then liaised with the Swanage Coastguard Station Officer who had made his way to the scene to provide support. I understand the owners then took the dog onto the vets.

It's a difficult one, only last weekend I was up at Old Harry with the missus who was amazed at the number of dogs running around off the lead. If you know Old Harry you will be aware of the narrow ledge right at the end, well the dogs were running down that! I suppose owners think it won't happen to their dog; sadly it does.

A gap in the hedge and a 100ft sheer drop.

As a Coastguard Rescue Officer it's pretty difficult liaising with owners who have just seen their pet fall over the cliff in front of them. They are normally frantic with worry and are asking you to tell them that the dog will be alright. Sometimes it's good news..... other times less so.

It's heartbreaking to bring their dog back in a black bag for identification and then watch the owner put the bag in the boot of their car for what I imagine is a long journey home. Very sad.

For the dog's safety please, please put them on the lead.

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