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Dog rescued by Coastguard after falling 20ft off cliffs at Downhill Strand


Rhea with owner Maria. Pic: McAuley Multimedia

Rhea with owner Maria. Pic: McAuley Multimedia

Rhea with owner Maria. Pic: McAuley Multimedia

Sheltie dog Rhea has had a very lucky escape after falling 20ft off a cliff while on a walk at Downhill Strand.

The two-year-old was being walked by her owner Maria near Mussenden Temple when she jumped onto a wall and fell over the back of a cliff.

Rhea fell 20ft but landed on a ledge. Maria called 999 and the Coleraine and Ballycastle Coastguard teams and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene.

It was decided that the safest way to rescue Rhea would be for someone to abseil down the side of the cliff and retrieve her via rope rescue.

Rhea's owner Maria told Causeway Coast Community that she was delighted to be reunited with her.

"We were out for a walk with Rhea at Mussenden Temple when she jumped up onto the wall not realising how small the wall was or the drop on the other side," Maria said.

"She went straight over the wall and fell down the cliff. It was my first time at the temple myself and I didn't realise the sheerness of the drop either."

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"We looked first before calling 999 but realised it was far too dangerous. We just kept talking to her until help arrived. Crews arrived very quickly to help us and reassured us and told us what they were going to do before they did it. The first responders arrived in under 10 minutes.

"I can't thank everyone enough for what they have done to rescue Rhea this evening, the Emergency services have been exceptional, I would specifically like to thank the NIFRS who referred the call to HMCG. The crews from Coastguard were Professional, exceptional and extremely reassuring."

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