Dog plunges 28 metres from top of Studland’s Old Harry Rocks

Swanage inshore lifeboat and the local coastguard team were called out to rescue a dog, a spaniel called Penny, that had fallen from the top of Old Harry Rocks in Studland.

The incident, which happened around 1.30 pm on Saturday 21st January 2023 on a bright and sunny afternoon, was the first call out of the year for both the Swanage Coastguard team and the RNLI.

Dog rescued by Swanage Coastguard and RNLI
Swanage Coastguard

Lucky Penny survived the fall

Safer to reach Penny by lifeboat

On arrival the coastguard volunteers heard from the dog owner that Penny, while out for a walk, had fallen from the right side of Old Harry Rocks.

Luckily surviving the 28 metre or 90 foot drop, she had then swam round to the left side where she was sitting at the base of the cliff on the rocky beach.

Assessing that it would be safer and easier to rescue Penny by boat, rather than climbing down the cliff, the coastguard called in the RNLI who launched the Swanage inshore lifeboat.

The coastguard team stayed at the top of the well known Dorset landmark to ensure that no one got too close to the edge and leant over too far in a bid to see what was happening.

Dog rescued by Swanage Coastguard and RNLI
Swanage Coastguard

A coastguard volunteer was able to send the spaniel’s collar and lead down to the lifeboat crew

“Penny was a little cold and shocked after her ordeal “

Once the lifeboat crew had arrived, the coastguard lowered the dog’s collar and lead down the cliff to the RNLI crew member who was now on the beach below. Using a familiar collar and lead is a technique often used to help calm a dog before trying to approach it.

The lifeboat volunteers were able to reach Penny and safely get her into the lifeboat for a short trip round to the nearby South Beach in Studland to be happily reunited with her much relieved owner.

Dog rescued by Swanage Coastguard and RNLI
Swanage Coastguard

With the tide out, the lifeboat crew reached Penny by foot

“Please keep your dogs on leads near cliff edges”

Swanage Coastguard reported:

“Penny was a little cold and shocked after her ordeal and was taken to a local vets to be checked over after her 90 foot fall.

“Please keep your dogs on leads near cliff edges. In an emergency call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

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