Dog dies after being cut off by tide as coastguard rescue owner

Walker forced to leave beloved pet behind as he is winched to safety

Jane Dalton
Friday 29 March 2024 22:04 GMT
(St Agnes Coastguard Search and Rescue Team)

A dog died when rescuers plucked its owner to safety from rocks but were unable to retrieve the pet afterwards.

Holidaymakers including a young girl raised the alarm when they heard the cries of the walker who had fallen and injured his leg at Perranporth Beach, Cornwall.

His beloved dog stayed by his side as the tide came in, cutting them off from the mainland.

Rescuers saved the man as the tide rose (St Agnes Coastguard Search & Rescue Team )

Coastguard rescuers winched the man to safety in a helicopter – but said they could not retrieve the animal when they returned.

St Agnes Coastguard Search and Rescue, who were alerted just after 4.30pm on Wednesday, said they spotted the dog and made every effort to catch it.

“Once the casualty had been lifted, we set to work trying to locate the dog, we set up 2 Edge Safety Officers, who were able to look over the cliff and into the rocks below,” they posted on social media.

“After some time, St Agnes rescue officer Tom spotted the dog, but unfortunately after every effort was made to try and retrieve, we were unable to.”

They offered their condolences to the owner, whose identity was not revealed.

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“The primary duty of the St Agnes Coastguard is to save lives and conduct rescues, it is always challenging when our efforts do not result in the outcome we strive for,” they said.

“We are deeply saddened by the outcome of this particular mission.”

Bruce Hargrave, a wildlife photographer who saw what happened, told CornwallLive that the dog walker had fallen from the coastal path.

He said: “I had been at the cliffs photographing skylarks for much of the afternoon when I heard the helicopter. I initially thought it was an exercise, but once I saw the young girl crying and spoke to her mum, I quickly realised it was a real incident.

Rescue teams at Perranporth Beach (St Agnes Coastguard Search & Rescue Team )

“The tide was coming in fast and the beach below the cliffs was underwater. The man had fallen onto the rocks and hurt his leg.

“His dog had stayed by his side. There was a big sea running with quite big waves coming in and crashing onto the rocks, but fortunately, a family of holidaymakers on the coastal path had heard his cries for help and called the coastguard.

“They were all quite emotional. As I left the scene, coastguard personnel on the cliffs were rigging ropes so that they could descend safely to the rocks to continue the search for the man’s dog.”

Lifeboat crews and Newquay coastguard rescuers joined the initial rescue effort.

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