herald

Saturday 25 October 2014

Coast Guards carry out daring rescue of spaniels trapped on 50m cliff ledge

Howth Coast Guard Crew – Colin Murray, Robin Blandford, Donnchadh
McCobb, Declan Howard, and Stephen O'Gara who rescued Caroline's dogs Holly and Amber.

Holly and Amber, two seven-year-old springer spaniels, lost their owner, who eventually found them in their dangerous predicament.

Caroline McElvowney had been searching for her beloved pets for hours before finding them on a cliff, 30m down from the top, with no obvious way of recovering them.

The Coast Guard, which is a voluntary service, were then called to rescue the dogs from danger.



RELIEVED

The team managed to rescue the dogs in a daring manoeuvre, which involved setting up a cliff-top anchor and sending a climber to the edge.

The dogs were then put in a large canvas bag and secured to the climber, then set on to the beach 50m below -- where their relieved owner Caroline was on hand to welcome them back to safety.

The entire incident required eight coast guard officials at the scene to decipher a rescue plan. As the service is a voluntary one, there were no costs involved.

There was no obvious route for the dogs to have made their way down the 30m distance to the ledge of the cliff, which made their rescue even more of an ordeal.

"The dogs are very highly strung and they seem to have a fascination with birds and rocks. They are very adventurous and I think they wanted to follow the seagulls but got caught on their travels," Caroline said.

She has often found the fun-loving pair wandering the area in pursuit of adventure.

"They love walks and take any excuse to run off on their own. I have often found them in the nearby golf course and reservoir just running around."



DOGNAPPINGS

Caroline expressed her concern of the recent dognappings plaguing the capital and is thrilled that her dogs were returned home to safety.

"With all the dognappings, I was slightly worried. Somebody could have easily taken them and put them into the back of their car.

"But we are absolutely delighted to have them home now, safe and well," she said.

Both dogs are in perfect health, in spite of being a little tired and stiff from the ordeal.

"I would like to say a big thank you to the Coast Guard, who were such a help."

Howth Coast Guard would like to remind members of the public if they see anyone who they think may be in trouble on the cliffs, beaches or at sea to please dial 999/112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

hnews@herald.ie

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