Firefighters use drone to rescue dog stranded on cliff in Folkestone

Firefighters used a drone to rescue a dog stranded on cliff at Capel-le-Ferne in Folkestone Credit: Kent Fire & Rescue Service

A dog owner has described her panic when her pet fell from a cliff at Capel-le-Ferne in Folkestone.

Sarah Wilson, from Whitstable, had taken her long-haired dachshund Bear, to the beauty spot on Sunday.

The 58-year-old had been walking with her partner Luke Hooker and other dog Alfie, just off Old Dover Road when they realised Bear was missing. 

The walk quickly turned into an emergency after the three-year-old slipped out of his collar and ended up stranded on a cliff face. 

Sarah said: "Straight away I just had that horrible sick, sinking feeling in my stomach and just pure panic. I then heard this loud barking and realised what had happened."

Crews from Kent Fire and Rescue service and the Coastguard helped to search for Bear and a rescue team joined them at 6.50pm.

Firefighters used a drone with a thermal imaging camera to look for heat spots and spotted Bear stuck in thick grass on the steep cliff face.

Crews cleared a pathway to the bottom of the cliff and managed to bring the little dog to safety by 11pm.

Firefighters spotted Bear stuck in thick grass on the steep cliff face using a drone Credit: Kent Fire & Rescue Service

Bear's owner, Sarah, is now urging other dog owners to take extra care when walking near cliff edges. 

She said: "It had been a really lovely walk and both dogs had been impeccably behaved, so I can only imagine Bear saw or smelt something and ran off, and I hadn’t realised his lead wasn’t fully secure. 

"From now on, both dogs will be wearing harnesses on walks and I’ll be double checking their collars and leads before setting off. It all happened so quickly and just goes to show how important it is to take extra precautions, and I’d absolutely urge all other dog owners to do the same. 

"I dread to think what could’ve happened and I’m just relieved Bear is home and safe. I’m so grateful to the crews for rescuing him. They were fantastic and helped to keep us all calm. I can’t thank them enough."

KFRS Station Manager, Chris Redmond, said: "We’re really pleased we were able to work with our partners at HM Coastguard to rescue Bear and return him to his owner. 

"Sarah had done the right thing by keeping both dogs on their leads, and what happened was an unfortunate accident, but it’s a reminder for all dog owners to take extra care around steep heights or water, and to stay well back from cliff edges. 

"Please don’t attempt to rescue your pet in dangerous situations, as you could also end up needing to be rescued - instead, please call 999."