A TEENAGER became stranded on a cliff-face trying to rescue his dog.
The 17-year-old got stuck on a cliff near Charmouth in a bid to rescue a bulldog after it ran over the cliff edge.
Coastguard rescue teams from Lyme Regis and West Bay launched a rescue operation to pull the teenager back up the steep cliff while the bulldog, Rio, was hoisted up to safety in a bag.
The pet owner became stuck after running after his dog, which escaped from a caravan park close to the River Char in Charmouth and ran over a nearby cliff edge.
Portland Coastguard has issued a warning following the rescue.
It is urging dog walkers to keep dogs on a lead at cliff edges and for owners not to attempt cliff rescue themselves.
A spokeswoman said: “We are urging residents and visitors to Dorset that if their dog goes over a coastal cliff to call the coastguard and not attempt to rescue it themselves.
“Our coastguard teams are very well trained in rescuing animals and the dog was saved by putting him into a bag and lifting him up.
“If a member of the public tries to rescue a dog for example, they would presumably be trying to pull the animal up themselves causing further danger to the situation.
“The man had climbed down the cliff and become stuck just above a very steep sloping area– if he had fallen he could have been in serious danger.”
The teenager was checked over by South West Ambulance paramedics at the scene before going on his way and is believed to have suffered no serious injuries.
Coastguards are also urging walkers near cliffs along the coast to keep their dogs on a lead to avoid similar dangerous situations.
The spokeswoman added: “Please be cautious close to cliff areas and keep dogs on leads, especially with the unstable nature of cliffs at the moment due to the recent severe weather.”
Julia Gosling of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said coastguards attend 270 incidents a year involving dogs falling off cliffs.
She said: “Dogs that owners think are predictable can become very excited when they go to the coast.
“Sometimes the dogs will literally run off the cliff. Coastguards are doing these rescues on a regular basis.
“If you have a dog by a cliff it should be on a lead.”