Golden Labrador rescued after falling over Swanage cliff

Coastguard teams from Swanage and St Albans were called in to help after a dog called Ernie tumbled down the face of a 60 foot cliff on the Swanage Downs in Dorset.

Ernie, a golden Labrador, was out with his owner on Tuesday 16th April 2024 when suddenly he decided to explore the cliff at Peveril Point and fell.

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Ernie the dog on Swanage Downs
Swanage Coastguard

The coastguard team discuss with Ernie the importance of being on a lead near the cliff edge

Stuck on a ledge

With the dog lucky to have fallen onto a ledge about 20 foot down, the owner called 999 and asked for the coastguard.

On arrival the rescue teams started to prepare to climb down to get Ernie.

Swanage Coastguard reported:

“The teams rigged up their rope equipment to send a coastguard down to retrieve Ernie, however things changed when he suddenly appeared back up at the top.”

On seeing a coastguard about to scale down the cliff towards him, Ernie decided to scramble back up the rock, to the delight of the coastguard and the owner.

Swanage Coastguard said:

“Having thanked the coastguard teams, Ernie, now on a lead, headed safely back to town with his owners.”

Ernie the dog on Swanage Downs
Swanage Coastguard

Not all dogs are as fortunate as Ernie to be safely rescued after a cliff fall

Second incident on Swanage Downs in six months

This is the second incident in six months that a dog, not on its lead, has fallen over the cliff on the Swanage Downs and had to be rescued by the coastguard.

In October 2023, Milo, a black Labrador took a similar tumble and was lucky to survive.

There have been other rescues of dogs that have fallen down cliffs at Ballard Down and near Old Harry. Not all dogs survive the fall.

Swanage Coastguard added:

“Please keep dogs on a lead near the cliff edge.”

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