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Dog Rescued by Coast Guard After 300 Foot Fall From Cliff

A dog in Oregon, who fell 300 feet off a cliff in Ecola State Park, sustained minimal injuries after she was heroically rescued by members of the U.S. Coast Guard earlier this week. Dory, a German Shepherd, is safe and recovering at home with her owner.

How the dog fell from the cliff

The dog and her dad were hiking on a trail in Ecola State Park not long before 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14. An unfortunate misstep led to the dog tumbling over a cliff and taking a vertical plunge of 300 feet to the rocky shores of Cannon Beach below. Miraculously, the German Shepherd remained conscious.

Once on the beach, the dog faced another problem. Waves were continually crashing against the shoreline and some even lapped against her. Although she was limping, the German Shepherd attempted to reach higher ground. The beach Dory plummeted to was inaccessible, except by water.

The daring U.S. Coast Guard rescue

Around 7 p.m., the Cannon Beach Fire Department issued an agency assist request. Not long after, the Air Station Astoria crew of five Coast Guard members was dispatched to help rescue the injured German Shepherd.

The U.S. Coast Guard released footage of the daring rescue on their social media the following day. In it, you can see a crew member rappelling from a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter before swimming through perilous waves to reach the rocky shore. Once the first responder, Aviation Survival Technician Second Class Clayton Maidow, reached the beach, he determined the dog’s state. Maidow declared her fit to be hoisted up in a rescue basket. He shared that the dog remained calm while being loaded into the receptacle.

Maidow stayed sitting in the basket with the German Shepherd even after they reached the helicopter. The pilot, Lt. Jake Mullins, said Dory “was scared, cold but very friendly and very docile,” even noting “[s]he put her head down in [Maidow’s] lap” once the two were on board. Lt. Mullins further remarked, “I’ve been at this air station for nearly five years and have never seen anything like this.”

Around an hour-and-a-half after the fall occurred, the dog and her human were reunited. Dory’s dad immediately took the German Shepherd to the emergency vet. After which, the dog parent shared promising and almost unbelievable news with the Coast Guard crew who rescued his pooch. The dog did not sustain any broken bones. Correspondingly, Dory is expected to make a full recovery from her 300 foot cliff dive.

Other harrowing tales of dog rescues from Ecola State Park and beyond

The Oregonian reports that while this is the first dog that USCG crews have rescued since October of last year, they have been called to rescue 17 people in that time. The crews also note that, in previous rescue missions, dogs have typically been accompanied by their humans. This makes Dory’s rescue unique. Where similarities can be drawn, however, is in the location where the German Shepherd was rescued. According to Oregon Live’s coverage, “Air Station Astoria has rescued at least five people from the spot where Dory was stranded.”

Earlier this week, another dog was rescued at a state park in Connecticut after falling 34 feet from a tower. In that case, a dog mom called firefighters to rescue the pup from a brush-lined trail. The first responders worked diligently before carrying him to safety. While the dog thankfully — and quite astonishingly — did not sustain any life-threatening or internal injuries, he was in need of surgery for a torn ACL and injured carpus.

Keeping dogs safe on a hike

Hiking is a superb way to share your love of the great outdoors with your pup. Be sure to review trail etiquette tips before taking your dog out in nature with you. It’s also best to keep your dog leashed, preferably in a supportive harness, and stick to dog-friendly trails. Make certain your dog knows basic obedience commands and, most importantly, reliably responds to the all important recall command of “come.” Additionally, don’t forget to pack plenty of fresh water, treats, and food, along with anything else needed for the haul.

It’s always smart to have your dog microchipped, especially in the event worst-case scenarios arise. Confirm your dog’s collar has tags with their name and your up-to-date contact information in case you become separated. You can also purchase collars that have a space for you to insert a GPS tracking device. Some collars even come with GPS devices already built-in. Either way, both designs make it easy to find your dog using an app on your cell phone.

Lastly, be sure to check the forecast in advance of your hike. We recommend even checking it again at the start to verify weather conditions will remain ideal during your walk. If the weather is toasty where you recreate, consider purchasing a reflective vest, or either a cooling jacket or bandana, for your pup. Your dog may also benefit from dog shoes, depending on the terrain you’re planning to traverse.

Happy trails make for happy tales

As we have learned from Dory and her agonizing experience, accidents can happen. That’s true no matter how closely you watch your dog or how diligently you prepare before an outing on the trail. Despite that, taking preventative steps to safeguard your dog’s health, safety, and happiness are always worth the effort. At the end of the day, we all just want to do whatever we can to ensure a happily ever after for our own fur-ever friend’s tale (and that includes his tail, too).

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