Tess Nichol is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Lucky pup's rescue after four-day wait on the side of a Napier cliff

The cocker spaniel appeared to have fallen about 50m down a steep slope before falling 20m down a vertical cliff and hitting some shrubbery on a bushy ledge. Photo / 123RF
The cocker spaniel appeared to have fallen about 50m down a steep slope before falling 20m down a vertical cliff and hitting some shrubbery on a bushy ledge. Photo / 123RF

A cocker spaniel was abseiled to safety after a four-day ordeal stuck on the side of a Napier cliff.

The lucky pup was spotted by a rescue helicopter this morning down the side of Bluff Hill after fire services failed to find it during a search on Tuesday.

The rescue helicopter crew was not deliberately searching for the dog, spotting it by chance on the way back from a routine training session.

The cocker spaniel went over the top of Bluff Hill in Napier on Tuesday and wasn't found until Saturday morning. Photo/ Duncan Brown
The cocker spaniel went over the top of Bluff Hill in Napier on Tuesday and wasn't found until Saturday morning. Photo/ Duncan Brown

Two fire trucks and a team of 12 returned to the site shortly after 1pm, where they found the dog about 70m down the side of the hill.

"The guys had gone down a few days ago and couldn't find it," said Napier firefighter Mark McGill.

"The owners saw it go over the top [and disappear]."

The dog appeared to have fallen about 50m down a steep slope before falling 20m down a vertical cliff and hitting some shrubbery on a bushy ledge.

It had injuries to its back legs and McGill said if it had fallen the further 20m to the bottom of the cliff it probably would have died.

"[He was] very lucky indeed to be alive."

McGill said the dog was very happy to see his rescuers after his days-long ordeal.

"One of our guys went down, put it inside a bag and took it down to the bottom of the hill."

The crew member scaled the side of the hill using high-angle rescue lines and a harness, which is essentially like abseiling gear.

The dog's owners came out to oversee the rescue operation.

"They were really happy they were up there the whole time we were doing the rescue."

The dog has been taken to a local vet for treatment.

- NZ Herald

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