Man’s best friend helps save owner in St Cyrus rescue

The search at St Cyrus
The search at St Cyrus

A loyal dog saved his owner’s life by leading rescuers to a point directly above where his master lay injured at the bottom of a cliff path at St Cyrus.

HM Coastguard Angus and Mearns say during a late-night search for a man who was reported missing off the cliffs of St Cyrus last Thursday his pet made a major contribution to the on-going search for him.

The alarm was raised at 11 p.m. when the Coastguard centre at Aberdeen received a request for assistance from Police Scotland.

Coastguard teams from Montrose, Stonehaven, Arbroath and Carnoustie, along with Montrose’s RNLI’s all weather and inshore lifeboats, were also called to the scene.

On arrival, the rescue officers were met by the police along with a member of public who had found a dog, called Ben, wandering by the missing man’s vehicle.

Teams searched the area and various cliff paths.

It was then when someone suggested that they try letting the dog, Ben, help them that the search really took off.

A coastguard spokesperson said: “Two rescue officers, both dog owners themselves, allowed Ben to take them and two police officers on a purposeful wander.

“Ben led officers along various paths, passing many intersections before deciding to sit down and look off the edge of a 100-foot section of cliff. Nothing was seen.

“After allowing Ben to survey further parts of the cliff path network, Ben took coastguard rescue officers and police directly back to the first location where he halted again.

“This area now became a key target for a detailed search.

“A police dog and rescue helicopter Rescue 137 from RAF Lossiemouth were now on scene.

“Shortly after removing Ben from the area to safety and to allow a detailed search to commence the missing male was located.”

Thanks to Ben, the man in his 50s was able to be air-lifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where he was treated with non-life threatening injuries.

The coastguard spokesperson concluded: “The location where the male was found was directly below the 100 foot cliff path where Ben had indicated.

“Man’s best friend proved to be an invaluable asset when searching for his master.

“Well done to Ben and all those involved.”