A dog had a miracle escape after it plunged over the edge of a sheer cliff and fell 150ft – on to ROCKS.
Springer spaniel Pippa was out walking with her owner when she chased a rabbit into a hedge which lines the cliff edge.
But the hapless hound ran straight out the other side – and fell 150ft before landing on a rocky shelf near the bottom.
Incredibly, she survived with just minor injuries and was rescued by 13 coastguards who took three hours to winch her to safety in the dark.
Owner Sheila Greed, 51, said she peered over the cliff edge and was stunned to hear the sound of her dog’s faint barking coming from the bottom.
She said: ”I was walking from the car park and the dogs were all running down quite happily when Pippa picked up on a scent and dived into bushes.
”I expected her to come back out as I didn’t realise there was a sheer cliff face the other side. When she didn’t reappear I went down onto the beach to have a look but couldn’t see her.
”When I went back up I could hear her barking and moving in the bushes, so I knew she wasn’t badly hurt. She was 150 feet below.”
Sheila, of Exeter in Devon, was walking her three dogs with daughter Steph, 14, at Salcombe Hill, near Sidmouth in Devon, at around 6pm on Sunday.
Pippa scented a rabbit and suddenly bolted into the hedge.
Sheila added: ”I was wondering what to do when a member of the lifeguards came along and suggested calling the coastguard.
”I was very worried but we could tell Pippa wasn’t badly injured. I knew she would be alright even if she had to be rescued in the morning as she is used to being outside.
”The coastguards were outstanding – I can’t thank them enough. It was great to see how they supported each other as a team and I really admire them for coming out on a Sunday night. Pippa is a bit stiff but she’s fine.”
A spokesman for the Beer Coastguard said the rescue was a long operation because of the fading light and the nature of the cliff.
He said: ”We had to carry all the gear across the fields and then down the steps which needed 13 of us to do.
”It wasn’t a problem going down but coming back up was hard. It took us about 20 minutes to reach the dog.
”We set the cliff rescue gear and then lowered a rescuer down over the edge with a special dog bag and then winched them up together.
”We warn people to keep their dogs on lead when walking near cliffs.”