Father and son plucked from sea after dog rescue attempt

A father and son are lucky to be alive after entering rough seas to try and rescue a dog in Devon.

The good Samaritans were pulled from the water after being battered against rocks when they jumped in to help the dog which had fallen over a cliff.

Luckily, after multiple calls to the Coastguard, the Ilfracombe RNLI Lifeboat and Coastguard Rescue team were able to pluck the pair from the icy water.

The dog's elderly owner had also attempted to rescue the dog, but had managed to self-rescue before coming to any harm.

The pair were taken to the nearby Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station, where they were met by Ambulance crews who treated them.

They had swallowed a lot of water and were suffering from cold, but did not need hospital treatment.

Sadly the dog died during the incident.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Please do not attempt to climb up or down cliffs unless you are properly equipped and trained to do so.

  • Do not attempt to self-rescue yourself or your dog if you get into difficulty.

  • If you see someone in difficulty, including a dog, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.