Rescue Teams Saves Newfoundland Dog Who Had Fallen Over 150ft Cliff

Lee Burnett, his partner Gemma Richens and their three children are so happy to be reunited with their pup after their Newfoundland, Ted plummeted down a 150ft cliff.

A Newfoundland, the size of a small pony, is one lucky dog after escaping a 150 foot fall down a cliff unharmed.

Lucky for the giant pup, named Ted, a ledge along the cliff broke his fall before he could hit the rocks at the bottom.

Ted was trapped on the ledge for four hours before he could be rescued. The operation took more than four hours and a dozen cliff rescue workers to get the dog back to safety.

Ted, who is only 2 years old, had been refusing to wear his leash during his walks with his family. Lee Barnett and his family say he can be very stubborn.

Before the incident, Ted had been playing around and enjoying himself during the family’s week long holiday new Morwenstow, North Cornwall. Ted had been quite disobedient throughout the trip, and was constantly refusing his leash.

Lee states that walking the dog without the leash hadn’t been a problem until the accident occurred.

“We were just out walking the dog. We had done it all the week. He was ten feet away from the path when he decided to go for it.” says Lee.

Yelling out a loud “No!”, Lee tried to stop the dog. Ted glanced back quickly, but continues running before falling over the edge.

Initially, the family was afraid that the worst had happened. To their surprise, Ted was sitting on a 10 foot wide ledge, just above the rocks.

Lee explained, ‘The cliffs are 150ft deep. We realised there was no way I was going to get down to Ted.”

The dotted line shows the path where Ted fell.

Gemma Richens, Lee’s partner, ran quickly to a tea room to call for help.

The couple’s three children were quite shaken, as they waited for their beloved Ted to be reunited with them.

Lee states, “I stayed on the edge talking to Ted. I was hanging over the edge trying to keep him calm while the children stayed on the path.”

“I kept my balance by hanging onto clumps of Lucky Heather. It was very lucky heather because if it had given way I would have gone over too.”

“For the first hour he did not move. He was just yelping. Blood was coming from his mouth.”

“By the time the rescue people arrived he was on his feet. All he had was a grazed nose. It was amazing.”

The Hartland Cliff Rescue Team arrived on scene and quickly began their mission to save the poor pup.

All together, fourteen men were involved in making the rescue happen. The men worked hard to set up a pulley system that would hold the weight of the dog, as well as one of the rescue workers.

Lee Burnett seen here with Ted, who rescue workers say is the size of a small pony.

They lowered one of the workers in a bag so that he could fit Ted inside, and bring him back to the top. However, Ted’s stubborn attitude didn’t make it easy for them, as he got into the bag and continued to jump back out.

“Once he realised they wanted him in the bag he wanted none of it. So they had to lower two guys down using a stronger pulley system,” said Lee.

Three long hours later, Ted was finally reunited with his family.

“I think his ego has been bruised at bit. But other than that he just has a scrape on his nose. It is remarkable and bizarre,” says Lee.

‘There was nothing to stop him hurtling over. He ended up on a narrow rocky ledge about ten feet wide. If he had missed that he would have gone down onto the rocks.”

“He is very lucky to be alive. If he were a cat he would definitely have lost a few lives.”

Newfoundland dogs are well known for their remarkable strength, loyalty, calm demeanour and their lifesaving skills. Usually they are used by fishermen as working dogs.


  1. Sally Marshall says on  08/21/2012 at 10:18 am

    Who is in charge? The human or the dog. If I want my dogs on a leash, they go on the leash. Would they let their child dash across the road because the kid didn’t want to walk sensibly.

  2. jennymac says on  09/18/2014 at 3:03 pm

    Newfoundlands are very stubborn dogs. Getting them to walk on a leash, especially if they are 150 pounds and 2 years old, is like trying to break a wild horse. Newfoundlands are as strong as bulls. The first time I put a leash on my Newfy she was like a bucking bronco and she was very hard to control. A male Newfy is going to be even stronger than a female. The breed is notoriously stubborn. Watch some videos on youtube about Newfoundland dogs. I have my third one, and she is so strong. She was a runt and is only 86 pounds and is supernaturally strong. I love this guys story. I love how God watched over this dog and kept him safe. It was a demonstration of the mercy and protection of God in action, for He knows even when a little sparrow falls to the ground and protects them. I had a bird fly into the window of my A-Frame cabin and I heard it sqwak. I ran outside and there it was, on my deck with a broken leg. His leg was completely twisted underneath him and very broken. He couldn’t move or anything. He tried to get up but couldn’t. So I prayed for this little bird, asking the Lord to either heal it or let it go, because he was suffering. The next thing I knew, he flew up and latched onto the screen with his once broken leg. This man’s story should inspire a person and give them hope. I hope you will read it again and rejoice at the outcome, instead of being angry that the dog wasn’t on a leash.

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