Cliffhanger ending for Zac the dog’s Christmas walk

Barton cliff
Zac the dog was pulled up the cliff face to safety in a special retrieval bag (Photo: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service)

A LATE-NIGHT Christmas stroll for Zac the dog turned into a full-scale rescue operation after he became stuck over the cliff edge at Barton.


Coastguard crews and firefighters responded to a call-out shortly after midnight on Boxing Day after the pet got into difficulty while being taken on a walk near Marine Drive West.

The alarm had been raised after the terrier’s owner, a Highcliffe man, had made a number of failed attempts at a rescue himself.

Assisted by animal rescue experts from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, a Lymington Coastguard team lowered one of its own specialists about 20ft down the cliff face to reach Zac.


Having packed the dog into a special coastguard retrieval bag, the rescuer was winched back to the top in an operation which took nearly two hours.

Zac was then safely reunited with his owner, who had also been walked by the coastguard team along the beach to safety at Chewton Bunny.

A Southbourne Coastguard rescue team was also involved at the scene, along with firefighters from New Milton.

A post afterwards on the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Twitter account said: “Zac had a troublesome Christmas Day when he became stuck over a cliff edge.

“@NewMilton51 and @HFRSanimal worked alongside the coastguard to successfully reunite him with his owner.”