Lucky Oscar the spaniel survives fall over cliff edge

Coastguard Steve Dann is pictured with Oscar SUS-140304-090314001
Coastguard Steve Dann is pictured with Oscar SUS-140304-090314001

A dog had a lucky escape after falling 100 feet over cliffs at Beachy Head on Wednesday afternoon.

The latest incident has prompted a fresh warning from coastguards to pet owners to make sure dogs are on leads while walking them at the notorious beauty spot.

A full scale rescue was launched after five month old Cocker Spaniel Oscar ran over the cliff edge while he was chasing a seagull.

The drama unfolded at 4.30pm when Dover Coastguard received an emergency call from the dog’s owner.

Coastguards Steve Dann and David Nott were first on scene shortly afterwards and made contact with the owner at the top of the cliffs.

David Nott said, “The dog was located on the beach 100 feet down and Steve who was the incident offer requested the assistance of the Eastbourne ILB to help recover the dog.

“The owner and two coastguards walked round from Holywell steps with the owner and the dog was seen to be alive and well if a bit shaken. The dog was recovered in a dog bag by the lifeboat crew and coastguards and reunited with his owner at Holywell Beach.”

Coastguard Steve Dann said, “This was one very lucky dog and although the dog seemed to be well and did not appear to have any injuries, we advised the owner to take him to his vet to be checked out and to make sure that everything was okay.”

Dover Coastguard said, “We are absolutely delighted Oscar is okay but with the summer now approaching and the weather getting better, we would like to remind dog owners to be very careful when walking their pets on the cliffs.

“The owner did the right thing by dialling 999 and waiting for help to arrive rather than trying to rescue the dog himself and getting into difficulties as we have specialist dog rescue equipment.”

A spokesperson for Eastbourne lifeboat said, “The young spaniel was chasing everything that moved but unfortunately chose the wrong prey when it chased a seagull.

“Without the benefit of flight the animal tumbled down the cliffs to the beach below. The local coastguard team located the dog but were unable to carry it to safety so requested the assistance of Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat.

“The dog and coastguard team were taken aboard the ILB and returned to Holywell where the coastguard team had left their vehicle. The dog was then taken to a local veterinary practice.”