View as PDF

Eastbourne lifeboat launched to recover a dog from beneath cliffs

Lifeboats News Release

A visitor to Eastbourne was walking her spaniel dog along the cliff-top between Beachy Head and the Belle Tout lighthouse when the animal suddenly ran off in pursuit of a seagull and fell off the cliff

Eastbourne inshore lifeboat was launched this afternoon to recover a dog which had fallen from the cliffs at Beachy Head


Eastbourne inshore lifeboat was launched this afternoon to recover a dog which had fallen from the cliffs at Beachy Head

The distraught owner contacted the emergency services and Eastbourne RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch in the faint hope the dog had survived the fall.

The volunteer crew of the inshore lifeboat, Laurence and Percy Hobbs, were on scene shortly thereafter but unfortunately the animal had not survived.

The dog was recovered from the surf and taken to the steps at Birling Gap where it was passed to the local UK Coastguard Rescue Team and the devastated owner.

An RNLI spokesman said: 'This is an all-too-regular occurrence - it is such a shame because no matter how well trained a dog maybe, it is in their nature to sometimes see something and chase after it. If people are walking their dogs without a lead there is the chance for tragedies like this to happen. We would always advise people to keep dogs on leads whilst walking on this, or any other, elevated stretch of coastline.

'We are really sorry for the owners for their loss. Losing a pet can be devastating and we only wish the outcome had been different.'

Notes to editors

Eastbourne has celebrated over 185 years as a lifeboat station and currently operates an all-weather Tamar Class lifeboat ‘Diamond Jubilee’ and an inshore D-Class lifeboat ‘Laurence and Percy Hobbs’.

RNLI media contacts For more information please contact Bob Jeffery, Eastbourne RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07802 878017

Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 for enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland