'Lucky escape' for dog after falling off cliff at Sunderland's Ryhope Dene

At around 6:08pm on Tuesday 5 July the Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team heard reports of a dog over the cliff. Credit: Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team

A dog had a lucky escape after falling off a cliff on the North East coast.

Benson is thought to have fallen off the cliff at Ryhope Dene when out with his owner.

Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team were alerted to the incident at about 6:08pm on Tuesday 5 July.

After arriving on scene and speaking to the owner the teams decided to send a rope rescue technician to the base of the cliff to search the beach, while other members scanned the area from vantage points along the cliff top.

An RNLI lifeboat crew were also given the task of looking for the dog and spotted him some way south of their location.

Due to the lower tide they were able to access the beach by foot and three coastguard officers managed to get the dog under control and lead it safely back to its owner.

“Benson” was saved by the Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team. Credit: Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team

A spokesperson for the coastguard said Benson appeared no worse for his ordeal but is being checked over by a vet.

The coastguard is now urging owners to keep their dogs on a lead around cliffs.

A spokesperson for the Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team said: "Please don’t let your dogs wander off lead around cliffs.

"In this case the owner and dog are very lucky to be going home together this evening."

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