Woman and dog airlifted from cliffs near Sidmouth

Beer coastguard call for helicopter to aid in cliff rescue

A WOMAN who was airlifted to safety with her dog last Saturday, had hoped to meet the Beer coastguard team who helped rescue them both on Wednesday during Beer Regatta.

But, despite an appeal over the PA system, the woman, from Warrington, did not materialise from the crowd gathered to watch a rescue demonstration by the coastguard team, lifeboat and Portland helicopter.

The ordeal for Julie Gill, who was holidaying in the Sidmouth area with husband Steve, began around 9am last Saturday morning after their black Labrador Laddy became stuck on cliffs off Dunscombe beach.

Terry Hoare, station officer for Beer Coastguard rescue team, first had reports that a dog had gone over the cliff there.

He said: “I sent a team out and en route we had a report that a lady had climbed up the cliff and she was with the dog and was stuck as well.”

Coastguards met Steve Gill on top of the cliff near Dunscombe Manor and he told them where they were.

Most Read

“She had gone down to the beach and tried to climb up,” said Mr Hoare, who sent a three-strong team to the cliff edge where she was sited.

“It was obvious we were going to have a problem setting up our gear because the ground was too wet to hold our ropes.

“It was very inaccessible to get to the cliff edge because there is 40 feet of shrubs and trees, so I decided it was easier to use the helicopter.”

The helicopter crew soon located Mrs Gill and Laddy and winched the dog up first, using a special bag. Both were then safely dropped at the top of the cliff, no worse for wear for their experience.