Newhaven RNLI were requested to launch by HM Coastguard at 11:43am on Wednesday 19 January to help with the rescue of a dog who had gone over the cliff edge at Seaford.
Newhaven’s Severn class All-weather Lifeboat (ALB), David and Elizabeth Acland, and her volunteer crew launched and made way to the location of the Border Collie, reported to be in the water below Hawks Brow.
A Newhaven Coastguard Search and Rescue Team were on the beach at Splash Point, but were unable to reach the dog, named Max, due to the high tide separating them from his position.
This was a first service call for Chloe Sands. She applied to crew for Newhaven Lifeboat in 2021. Having been accepted, she undertook the necessary training modules, passing those assessments and recently received her RNLI pager.
Chloe Sands, Volunteer Crew, said: “It was a bit of shock when the pager went off, but a relief also to be on my way to a first shout. When we reached the location, I helped prepare the Y-class Lifeboat for launch from the ALB.”
Three volunteer crew boarded the Y-class Lifeboat and headed to the base of the cliff, east of Splash Point, where the dog had swum in and appeared to be moving well on a small stretch of beach, visible with the receding tide.
James Johnson, Volunteer Navigator, said: “Given the dog had fallen over 100 feet to the beach, it was astonishing to see him apparently unharmed. Max was incredibly lucky and we were relieved to return him to his owner.”
Lewis Arnold, Coxswain, said: “The dog owner did the right thing. Getting yourself back to a place of safety and calling the Coastguard to get help is always preferable than trying to go after your pet yourself. Please remember to keep your dog on a lead close to cliff edges or fast flowing rivers, you never know when they’ll suddenly decide to make chase after a rabbit or bird.”
Watch the video here.