A father and son narrowly escaped serious injury after entering the sea at Cheyne Beach, Ilfracombe, to rescue a dog that had fallen over a cliff

A week after the UK Coastguard warned people not to put themselves in danger to rescue a dog, a father and son have been rescued in Devon.

They got into difficulties after going into the sea at Cheyne Beach at Ilfracombe yesterday evening (7 March 2017) to rescue a dog that had fallen over a cliff.

But the rough seas resulted in the pair being battered against the rocks.

They were rescued “just in time” by the volunteer crew of the Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat.

The Ilfracombe Coastguard Rescue Team was also sent to assist in the rescue.

UK Coastguard received a number of 999 calls just before 1520 reporting that the dog was in the water and that people nearby were trying to enter rough seas to rescue it.

The dog’s elderly owner had also attempted to rescue the dog, but managed to rescue himself before he came to harm.

“Don’t risk your life to save your dog,” warns the UK Coastguard

Suffering from cold and having swallowed a lot of water, the father and son were taken to the nearby Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station where they were met by South Western Ambulance Service paramedics who treated them.

Sadly, the dog died.

Commenting on the rescue, the duty controller for UK Coastguard, Matthew West, said: “Despite their frightening ordeal the father and son did not require a visit to hospital and made a swift recovery at the lifeboat station.”

“This incident could have gone a very different way. We would urge people not to take unnecessary risks when walking along the coast. Following a few simple safety tips will ensure you have a day to remember – not one you’d rather forget”, he stressed.

West has this advice for dog owners.

“Try and keep your dog on a lead near cliffs. If they pick up the scent of an animal or hear something on the coast below it doesn’t take much for them to follow their nose.” he said.

“Above all, if your dog does fall down a cliff or starts getting swept out to sea, please do not attempt to rescue it yourself. In most cases your dog will rescue itself and return to shore alive, but tragically some owners do not.” continued the duty controller.

“Our Coastguards are trained in all types of rescue on the coast, including dog rescues.” he advised.

“Please do not attempt to climb up or down cliffs unless you are properly equipped and trained to do so and do not attempt to self-rescue yourself or your dog if you get into difficulty,” highlighted West.

“If you see someone in difficulty, including a dog, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. We have the means to rescue them and yourselves if you get into trouble.” he added