Watch: Freddie the dog rescued from cliff face by Coast Guard

Watch: Freddie the dog rescued from cliff face by Coast Guard

A rescue climber reaches the spot on the cliff face where Freddie was waiting to be rescued. Picture: Irish Coast Guard - Howth

Freddie the dog has been rescued twice in his life - first, when he was adopted by his loving owners and then again this weekend when the Irish Coast Guard rescued him from the cliffs in Howth.

His owners have thanked the crew in Howth for saving their dog's life after he took a tumble while walking along the cliffs.

While enjoying a stroll on Sunday evening, Freddie fell around 10 metres and got trapped.

He landed on a narrow ledge where he was able to hang on until help arrived.

His quick-thinking owners immediately called 999 and requested the coast guard's assistance.

Once they arrived on the scene, a Coast Guard heights rescue was set up and a rescue climber was lowered down to Freddie who was then lowered down to the beach to be reunited with his owners.

Happily, Freddie was not injured in the incident and wasn't too shaken by the fall. He was taken home afterwards where he slept away the evening.


The Coast Guard team from Howth have praised Freddie's owners for remaining calm and for doing all the right things.

"Sometimes you will get people that decide 'Ok, the dog is stuck. I'm going to go down and try to rescue the dog because I don't want to trouble people coming out'," said Fergus Cooney.

"In a case like that, we wouldn't normally send a helicopter because it's an animal so the cliff rescue team is absolutely perfect. They will go out, lower down ropes, get a rescue climber and get the person/animal back."

Mr Cooney said that it is very important that in such cases people do not attempt to self-rescue as the dog is usually fine but the person going down will slip and possibly hurt themselves.

What people should do in these circumstances is to pick up the phone straight away and dial 999 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Some people can be unsure who to ask for when calling emergency services and Mr Cooney said people should keep in mind that if the incident is on the cliffs, the beach or at sea then they should ask for the Coast Guard.

As we head into the summer, the Irish Coast Guard are expecting another busy year as many Covid-19 restriction will still be in place over the coming months.

In 2020, Howth experienced their busiest year ever doing 116 calls while nationally the Coast Guard did over 2,500 calls.

With people likely to be spending a lot of time outdoors and visiting beaches and coastal beauty spots, Mr Cooney is encouraging people to be safe and to be aware of what to do if they spot someone else in trouble or find themselves in trouble.

"One of the challenges is sometimes there could be 10 people standing around looking at somebody in trouble on the beach and nobody actually picks up the phone because sometimes people assume that somebody else is doing it," said Mr Cooney.

The Coast Guard are fine with receiving several calls to the one incident as it is preferable to having a delay in being alerted to someone in need of help - especially in cases where swift action is critical.

Members of the public are encouraged to make the call as soon as possible, even if they may feel a bit unsure about it.

"It's just so much safer to make the phone call and have us on the way rather than not go and it turns out to be something more serious."

If a person with good intentions makes a call and it turns out to be a false alarm then a simple call back to let them know they can stand down is perfectly fine, said Mr Cooney.

For people who are heading out in the water over the coming months, they should remember to 'stay afloat and stay in contact'. So before heading off, they should have a means of staying afloat and contacting someone if they find themselves in trouble.

For more tips on planning ahead and what to do in an emergency, information can be found here.

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