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'Take the lead' on cliff walks

A story about a dog walker and his Labrador, who were airlifted to safety by a Sea King rescue helicopter after plunging 200ft over a cliff top near Scarborough, was widely reported in the news recently. The dog, Oscar, who was being exercised off lead, slipped on a narrow path and went over the sheer cliff face first and his owner then lost his footing when he tried to reach him. Amazingly, Chris Babbs suffered only a broken leg and wrist, and Oscar escaped with a broken leg and cuts around one eye.
Last year, however, there were 227 cliff-related accidents involving dogs that required emergency assistance from Coastguard rescue teams and not all had such a happy ending.
HM Coastguard and Dogs Trust are now urging dog owners to stay safe by keeping dogs on a lead at all times on cliff walks. Even if your dog is well trained and you think he's familiar with the route you're walking, accidents can happen. Keeping your dog on a lead can help protect both you and your pet.