From Bude Coastguard Rescue
Bude Coastguard Rescue Team were paged at 16:37 on Saturday 10th November following a report to the Coastguard Operations Centre of a German Shepherd dog on a large ledge below a cliff just south of Northcott Mouth, and with no owner in sight. As there was a strong possibility that this would become a rope rescue tasking, and with the added possibility of a missing person, Hartland Coastguard Search and Rescue Team were also paged
Arriving on the scene as darkness fell, the team liaised with the first informants at the top of the cliff, who described the location of the dog. As the team know the area well, they were aware of a safe access path to the ledge described. As two Coastguard Rescue Officers made their way along the path to try and locate the dog, the rest of the team began to prepare for a rope rescue to the ledge, should access or retrieval via the path prove unsuitable.
Having spotted the dog, the two CROs on the path carefully approached her. Spooked at first, the dog was wary of approaching the Officers. But after some suitably sweet ‘doggy talk’ by the two CROs, the animal was quick to return and visibly happy to have been found. As other members of the team had been made aware of a social media post concerning two missing dogs in the area – one being a puppy and one being the same breed as the dog located – contact was made with the possible owner.
Meanwhile, on the ledge below, and with the dog’s trust gained, a lead was attached to her collar, and the two Officers made their way back up the path and to the rest of the team.
With the owner now having arrived and verifying that the dog was his, the team were no longer concerned about a possible missing person. However, with a Cliff Rescue Technician already attached to the lines, a descent down the cliff to the ledge was made for a search of the immediate area in an attempt to locate the missing puppy. Sadly it could not be found.
Once the Rope Technician had been recovered, the gear was stowed and both teams were stood down.