A dog owner became trapped on sheer cliffs above a river after trying to rescue their pet who had fallen from a path.
Emergency services were called to the steep 50m drop on the River Findhorn, south of Forres, on Saturday, April 10, at around 3.30pm.
The dog had fallen from the cliffs near Sluie Walk and the owner had then tried to climb down to rescue him but became stuck themselves, about 10 metres from the top.
Multiple HM Coastguard rescue teams responded and after setting up a rope system were able to lower a rescuer down to make the recovery and hand the dog owner over to paramedics from the local air ambulance.
But the pet had fallen further and was spotted near the bottom of the 50m cliffs. Fortunately, a passing raft from local outdoor activity centre Ace Adventures was able to rescue the pooch safe and well, although wet and frightened.
Colin Wood, senior coastal operations officer for HM Coastguard says: “Fortunately, this incident ended with a good conclusion but the outcome could have been very different.
“We encourage all dog owners to keep dogs on a lead when walking near any cliffs and water, even well trained dogs can end up falling. If your pet does fall into water or down cliffs, do not attempt to rescue the animal, we understand this seems a natural reaction, however, often the person attempting the rescue ends up in a more dangerous position than the animal.
“Instead, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard straight away. We would also like to pass our gratitude to the passers by who alerted us and stayed above the casualty and to the local camekeepeer who provided expert local knowledge for access and support of the operation.”