Lifeboat volunteers had their work cut out on Saturday, September 1, as two dogs careered over the edge of cliffs in the Sunderland, Tyne and Wear region.
The first call came in at 4.45 pm and the local Coastguard was alerted that a German Shepherd dog had tumbled over a steep cliff edge in Hendon. The German Shepherd, named Mia, might not have survived if it were not for the prompt action taken by both her owners and the lifeboat volunteers. Dialling 999, Mia’s owners pleaded for help and just a few minutes later, Paul Nicholson, the senior helmsman, commanded the rescue to take place, after which an RNLI boat was launched.
When Mia was spotted lying on a beach concealed in rocks, lifeboat volunteers tended to her while trying to bring her inshore. Mia’s owner was brought to the scene and, with the owner’s assistance, Mia was tempted to come inshore away from any further risk.
Just as this story reached its happy ending, Humber Coastguard was surprised to receive yet another phone call regarding another dog that had descended over nearby cliffs. This time, the dog was a Cocker Spaniel and the incident occurred at Souter Lighthouse. An inshore lifeboat was then released to locate and retrieve the dog, assisting the Coastguard team with their smaller boat.
The Cocker Spaniel, whose name was Archie, was found on the rugged beach just underneath the spot where he slipped and fell. After checking Archie for injuries, the team swiftly returned him to his owner on a beach located 200m away. Despite both dogs being perfectly healthy after the incidents, Nicholson advises dog owners to always call 999 in cases like this.