Coastguard warns owners after dog killed in cliff fall

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THE local Coastguard has renewed its plea to dog owners to keep their pets on a lead when walking near cliffs.

This follows the death on Sunday afternoon of a springer spaniel which had fallen more than 100 feet from cliffs at the Giant’s Causeway.

The alarm was raised around 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon when Belfast Coastguard received a report from the National Trust at the Giant’s Causeway that a dog had fallen from the cliffs, near to the location of a similar incident earlier this month.

Because of the danger of the owner attempting to reach the fallen animal, Coleraine Coastguard Rope Rescue Team was deployed to the scene, with the Inshore Lifeboat standing by offshore for additional support.

A Coastguard rope rescue technician was lowered to the springer spaniel, which was lying at the base of the cliffs at Portnaboe. Sadly, the animal had sustained fatal injuries and its body was recovered by the Coastguard Team and handed over to its owner.

Speaking after the incident Coastguard Station Officer Chris Little remarked: “This incident underlines the need to keep all dogs on a lead near cliff edges. Dogs can easily fall over the edge of cliffs when exploring or playing. Sadly, in such circumstances serious injury or death is likely to result.”