WITNESSES looked on in horror as a man tumbled down a cliff while apparently trying to retrieve a woman’s shoe.

The police helicopter and an ambulance were scrambled when the man, who has been staying at a Bournemouth hotel, slid and bounced an estimated 50 feet down a steep slope at Stair Hole, near Lulworth Cove on Saturday afternoon.

A shocked onlooker dialled 999, but the man managed to clamber back to the top unhurt.

A Portland Coastguard spokesman said of the witness who dialled 999: “She was fairly shaken up.

“She had walked down from the car park and seen it happen in front of her.

“She watched him go back to the same spot and thought he could possibly be a suicide preparing to jump again.”

The spokesman added: “He was trying to help a female who had dropped her shoe.

“The police helicopter wasn’t far away and the paramedics were called to check him over. I believe some liquid refreshment may have been taken.”

The man was taken to Wool railway station so he could catch a train back to his hotel in Bournemouth.

Warning after dog dies in plunge

COASTGUARDS have issued a warning to dog owners after a pet died when it plunged over cliffs on Portland .

The 12-year-old Doberman was reported to coastguards as having fallen from a cliff at Blacknor on the western side of the island early on Saturday morning.

Coastguards went to the scene and said the dog had sadly died in the fall.

A spokesman for Portland Coastguard said: “The owners said they had let the dog off the lead to let it run around and then it went over the edge.

“They were obviously very distressed and wanted it bringing back, so we recovered it.

“Our concern in these situations is always that owners will try and get the pets back themselves – we did it to ensure the safety of the owners.”

He added that coastguard rescue officers are often called to such incidents and urged dog owners to keep their pets on a lead near cliffs.