Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pet dog in 400ft cliff fall!

A pet Labrador had a lucky escape when it fell 400ft from the cliffs on Monday. The owners were walking the animal, called Jake, along the cliff top paths at Saltburn when he lost his footing and fell 400ft, sparking a rescue operation involving the coastguard and police. Skinningrove and Staithes Coastguard rescue teams were sent to the scene, as well as an emergency vet. The dog was found on the beach at the foot of the cliffs relatively safe and well. However, on the walk back up to the cliff top, his owner experienced severe pain in his chest and plans had to be put into place to airlift him to hospital. This very unusual state of events meant that the rescue team had to ensure the owner of the dog received appropriate medical attention as quickly as possible, while the dog received attention from the vet.

addendum: Sadly Jake, a collie cross, who initially appeared to have only minor injuries when he was recovered from the bottom of HuntCliff, by the coastguards and emergency vet James Haddow, has died. Mr Haddow said, "I carried the dog all the way back. It had chest injuries and was having breathing difficulties." At the surgery Jake was put on a drip and a duty vet kept a check on it. Mr Haddow added: "His clot must have moved, he had problems breathing and he slipped away about 11pm. We were all very sorry." The dog's owner was airlifted by an RAF Sea King search and rescue helicopter from Leconfield to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and is said to be recovering today and is in a "comfortable" condition.

A Humber coastguard spokesperson said: "We would like to remind the public when walking their dogs along a cliff to always put their animals on a lead and if they do find themselves in any difficulty with the dog having gone over the cliff to ring 999 and ask for the coastguard."

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