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Dog and owner rescued after fall off cliff in Shell Beach

Posted at 1:06 PM, Jun 29, 2023

A five-year-old dog named Rosie is lucky to be alive after falling approximately 80 feet over a cliff in Shell Beach on Thursday.

Rescue crews were called to Dinosaur Caves Park at about 9:30 a.m. for a cliff rescue and found Rosie and her owner on the beach below.

According to CAL FIRE, the two were hoisted back up the cliff and are in good health despite some scratches.

Rosie's owner, Ryan McCormick, said the two were on their usual morning walk through the park when the dog, who was off-leash at the time, ran after something and didn't come back.

McCormick said Rosie always returns to him when called, so he knew something had happened.

"I started panicking. I knew something was wrong," he said. "I was looking all in the water for her and didn't see her anywhere for like 30 minutes, and then I ended up finding her on a beach under a cave over here. She swam to a beach."

McCormick said he climbed down to the beach and tried to rescue Rosie himself, but after about an hour of failed attempts to get her back up the cliff, he called the fire department.

CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Paul Lee said they believe the dog tumbled down the cliff and into the water.

He said it's an important reminder to keep dogs on-leash and stay away from the edge of the cliffs.

"We remind folks that going on the other side of the delineator is not the best idea. Things like this can happen. Very fortunate that neither the dog nor the person was hurt," Lee said.

"I'm just so thankful she's alive," McCormick said. "I thought she was gone because there's so much rock down there and um, I don't know how she's fine. It's a miracle."

He added that Rosie won't be allowed off-leash there again.

"I think we both learned a lesson today," he said.