Contact the Bridport News with your stories, pictures and video footage. Send us an email
Coastguards rescue dog who plunged off cliff near Lyme Regis
RESCUE: The Lyme Regis Coastguard team with Poppy after rescuing her from a 40 foot ravine on Sunday
THE owners of a rescued collie dog have spoken of their gratitude to Lyme Regis Coastguards after fearing they would never see their pet again.
Mark and Tessa Saunders-Barwick from Teddington, Middlesex, were walking with their four-year-old, dog Poppy, from Seaton to Lyme Regis and were two miles west of the town when Poppy chased after a pheasant.
She then plummeted 40 foot over the edge and became trapped in one of the deep gulleys meaning the owners had to call for the coastguards.
Mr Saunders-Barwick said: “We were walking quite happily through the woods towards Lyme and there were no signs warning of ravines or cliffs, so we felt safe to let Poppy off the lead. The next thing we heard was a lot of yelping and Poppy was gone.
“As I ran off to look for her, I nearly went over the edge myself and we decided to call the coastguard and they arrived very quickly.”
In failing light on the Saturday evening, the coastguards postponed the search to return in the morning. They returned at 9.30am and managed to locate the four-year-old dog, which allowed the coastguards to descend into the ravine on ropes to rescue her.
Mr Saunders-Barwick added: “When they postponed the search on Saturday, we genuinely thought we’d never see Poppy again or if the coastguard did manage to find her, they would be bringing up a dead body.
“On the Sunday she started responding to our calls but because of how the ravines are, it was difficult to tell where the sounds were coming from. When she came back up we couldn’t believe it. We are so thankful to the coastguards, they were absolutely brilliant and kept us positive.”
The couple later took Poppy to the vet where it was found she had no injuries.
Graham Turner, the station officer for Lyme Regis Coastguard, said: “Our primary concern when we arrived was to make sure the people didn’t try and go down into the ravines to look for the dog themselves, but we are all dog lovers so we wanted to find the dog. It was very tricky and very dangerous because it was about 10 metres deep and it became very narrow at the bottom.
“I would advise dog walkers to remain on signed paths and if they do have to go into the woods make sure the dog is kept on a lead at all times.”