Dog survives after falling 250ft off cliff and landing in a BUSH

June 7, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

A dog cheated death when he plunged over a 250-ft cliff and landed in a bush.

Sam the golden retriever darted after a rabbit as he was taken for a walk along a coast path and disappeared from view.

Owner Jonathan Minshull, 38, frantically searched for him for an hour before friend Simon Price climbed down to the beach and spotted Sam clinging to a ledge.

The dramatic rescue of Sam the golden retriever, who fell 250ft down a cliff and walked away unscathed

The dramatic rescue of Sam the golden retriever, who fell 250ft down a cliff and walked away unscathed

The eight year-old pet had survived the plunge thanks to gorse bushes which broke his fall half way down.

A rescue operation was launched at the scene in Sidmouth, Devon, and Sam was hauled to safety four hours later.

The drama happened last Friday as Jonathan, his family and several friends went for a clifftop walk during a camping holiday.

Jonathan, 38, from Derby, said: “I was taking photographs and didn’t see him disappear.

“He was there one minute and the next he was gone. At first we thought he’d run into a field which was near the path.

“We were searching in the field for him. It didn’t cross my mind for one second that he might have jumped off a cliff.

The spot on the cliff from which Sam fell

The spot on the cliff from which Sam fell

“It wasn’t until Simon went down on the beach and looked up at the cliff that he saw Sam.”

He added: “His fall had been broken by some gorse bushes. When I saw he was moving around on the cliff I was amazed.

“I imagine he was barking but I couldn’t hear him because he was too far away.

“I was actually quite relieved when I saw him on the cliff because at least I knew where he was.

“I dialled 999 and the fire service turned up really quickly.”

A rescue team from Devon and Somerset Fire Service rigged up a winch before carefully lowering a man down to reach Sam who was thirsty and tired but completely unscathed.

Jonathan said: “My kids adore Sam. He’s just a big, daft dog. He’s got a heart of gold.

“When he was pulled up over the cliff he was really happy to see us. He just wanted to get back to the campsite to cool down.”

Sidmouth fire crew commander Jack Burgess urged dog walkers to keep animals on leads whenever possible.

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