Pet dog Toby pulled from edge of disaster after plunging off clifftop
Published 07/03/2016 | 08:52
It was a 'tail' with a happy ending, but a Mother's Day seaside stroll could have ended horrifically for a family when their pet dog plummeted over a cliff.
Toby the terrier was tumbling on his way to a terrifying 90ft drop to the rock-strewn shoreline below when, miraculously, he landed on a ledge some 30ft down.
Emergency services were called and Toby was plucked to safety by a rescuer who was eased down the cliff on a rope by colleagues.
The drama began when his owners were out for a walk around 1pm yesterday near Whiterocks beach near Portrush.
The family were walking along a clifftop path.
Toby disappeared over the edge and as his owners - understood to originally be from eastern Europe - feared the worst, they spotted him perched on the ledge.
An eyewitness said: "It was a miracle the dog was not killed as it is a big drop to the shoreline, and if Toby had not landed where he did, a day out by the seaside would have turned to tragedy for the family."
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service was scrambled along with Coastguard teams from Coleraine and Ballycastle.
The dog was rescued by Keith Rochoy of the Coleraine team.
Toby was then reunited with his relieved and grateful owners.
The eyewitness added: "Toby appeared to be no worse off for his ordeal."
A Coastguard spokesman urged pet owners not to walk their animals close to the edge of cliffs and to always keep them secured on a lead.
He added that owners should never attempt to rescue dogs themselves if they go over a cliff, but call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.