Dog falls 250ft from cliff - and lives

A specialist team were called to Weston Mouth to recover the dog

A specialist team were called to Weston Mouth to recover the dog - Credit: Archant

A dog owner had a pet panic when his four-legged friend tumbled 250ft down a Sidmouth cliff – but was amazed to see the resilient golden retriever escape without a scratch.

The specialist team went down on ropes to recover Sam

The specialist team went down on ropes to recover Sam - Credit: Archant

Pooch Sam vanished over the sheer drop as he chased a rabbit while Jonathan Minshull was not looking.

Nick Price, Simon Price, dog owner Jonathan Minshull and Neil Shenton

Nick Price, Simon Price, dog owner Jonathan Minshull and Neil Shenton - Credit: Archant

Specialist rescuers raced to Weston Mouth and were able to pluck the hardy dog to safety after he was spotted moving around halfway down the 500ft cliff face.

“I just turned my back for a split second and he decided to go off the cliff,” said Jonathan.

“We didn’t know where he had gone – I was worried sick.


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“I think he must have gone after a rabbit. It was very unlike him.”

Jonathan, 38, was visiting Sidmouth from Derby for his friend Simon Price’s 40th birthday when the incident happened last Friday afternoon.

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Sam went over the edge while the group of chums stopped for a photo opportunity in the scenic surroundings on the cliff path to Branscombe.

He was brought back up by the urban rescue team from Exeter, who went down on ropes, as a crew from Sidmouth cordoned off the area.

Jonathan commended the ‘sterling work’ that saw him quickly reunited with the eight-year-old animal.

He added: “Sam was a little stressed and a little dehydrated, but within half an hour he was fine – that’s golden retrievers for you.”

Sidmouth crew commander Jack Burgess said it is not always practical to keep dogs on leads, but owners should try to keep their pets in sight at all times.

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