COASTGUARDS, a cliff rescue team and firefighters mounted a major rescue operation after a dog became stuck on the cliff face behind Warren Farm, Watchet.

Watchet cliff rescue team joined Minehead Coastguards to support firefighters who had been alerted by Zara spaniel's owner at around 10am yesterday (Friday).

A firefighter dropped down over the cliff to secure the dog to prevent it falling.

Coastguard cliff rescue technician Gary Morgan was lowered down to assist and recover the dog back to the top safely in an animal rescue bag - the Watchet Coastguard team had only refreshed themselves on its use a few weeks before during weekly training.

With the pet dog safely inside the rescue bag and secured using a lead, the coastguard was hauled back to the top of the cliff, followed by the firefighter.

A coastguard spokesman said: "Soon after spaniel Zara was reunited with her owners and returned home none the worse for her ordeal, having been off the lead on the beach and ran off and scaled the cliff chasing we understand a rabbit, before becoming stuck due to the angle and slippery surface.

"A message was received a short while later showing that Zata was home relaxed and lying down in front of the television."

HM Coastguard continue to advise owners to keep dogs on leads where there are cliffs, while above on clifftops and below on the shoreline, especially where any pet is known to chase other animals and could as in this case get stuck.

Photos: Watchet Coastguard.