A family have finally been reunited with their dog which fell down a crevasse on Beachy Head and was missing for two days.
Andrew Mansergh, 39, was walking his chocolate brown spaniel Bonnie near the Bomber Command War Memorial when she went out of sight chasing a scent on Sunday (October 23).
“We always walk her there. But this time she never came back. We searched the area and couldn’t see or hear her at all,” said teacher Andrew, who was visiting his parents in Eastbourne with his three children.
He contacted Dog Lost, an organisation that helps owners find their missing canines for free. It helped publicise the situation and Bonnie’s page soon gathered more than 8,000 views.
“People who I have never met before went out searching for Bonnie for two days,” Andrew said.
They had all but given up hope of finding the four-year-old dog when Andrew’s cousin Alison Butler phoned from Beachy Head on Tuesday (October 25).
The wind had obscured the dog’s cries before, but this time it was blowing inland and Bonnie’s barking could be heard.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) were called and a team arrived around 1.45pm, followed by Eastbourne, Newhaven and Birling Gap coastguard and specialist cliff rescue teams from Bexhill and Battle.
Andrew said he heard a squeaking sound he knew was Bonnie. After hours of searching, they found a crevasse, about 18 inches wide and 25ft deep, and Bonnie was peeking up from below. Initially teams were uncertain whether they could reach her.
Andrew said, “I didn’t think they’d be able to get down there, but a man went down on a rope and managed to scoop her up in a bag. It was an incredible rescue.”
Bonnie was surprisingly fine after the ordeal except being undernourished and covered in chalk. As soon as she saw her family, she went running to greet them. Felicity, 10, Rosamund, eight, and George, two, were delighted to see her.
Andrew said, “If it wasn’t for my cousin, the help of Dog Lost and the wonderful cliff rescue team, coastguard, and ESFRS I don’t know what would have happened. In the future, we’ll walk Bonnie on her lead when we go there.”