Dog mishap sparks sea rescue drama on Sunderland beach

Ryhope Beach.

Ryhope Beach.

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A dog sparked a rescue operation after it fell from a cliff onto an inaccessible beach.

The pooch went over a cliff at Ryhope earlier this evening and landed on a stretch of beach that had been cut off by the tide.

Humber Coastguard said they were called out at 6.37pm and its rescue teams from Sunderland and Seaham were dispatched to the scene.

Both Sunderland RNLI lifeboats were also launched to assist the stricken canine.

Sunderland RNLI helmsman Paul Nicholson said the dog’s owners had reported the incident to the emergency services.

He said: “The dog was received by the coastguard team in a rope rescue down the cliff.

“The lifeboats provided standby cover,  in case they had to be removed form the beach by sea.”

The dog, which appears to have got away unscathed, was plucked to safety at 7.41pm, and then returned to its owners.

Mr Nicholson said: “The dog’s owners did exactly the right thing in dialing 999 to report the incident with the dog.

“We don’t recommend anybody attempt a self-rescue, as they can can end up in even more difficulty than the dog is in, in the first place.

“We would remind dog owners to keep dogs on the lead when near cliffs.

“Even well-trained dogs can be spooked by birds or other things that can cause them to run off.”