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Third Rescue in a Week on Oregon Coast: Golden Retriever Falls 300 Feet (Video)

Published 1/05/24 at 3:45 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – One scared dog; two very happy dog owners in the end. (Photo USCG)

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A golden retriever fell off a 300-foot cliff on the Oregon coast New Year's Day, having to be rescued by a US Coast Guard helicopter. The dog was not critically injured but had to be treated for numerous injuries at a veterinary hospital.

It was the third rescue in a week on the coast, with a girl getting injured by a log in Florence and two surfers needing help in Pacific City.

What started off with a leisurely hike through Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach became a frantic moment for two visitors from just west of Portland. The couple's golden retriever Leo was with them on the trail without a leash, and at one point was seen zipping past another in the group.

The incident – and another goldie rescue documented by Oregon Coast Beach Connection – shows the need to keep your animal leashed in dangerous areas.

The hikers realized they could no longer see the dog, and then peered down from a clearing on the cliff to see Leo had fallen. Making things worse beyond his obvious injuries, the tide was coming in.

Photo USCG

Shortly, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Astoria and its crew arrived on scene, deploying a rescue swimmer to the rough cliffside area. Video from the USCG shows the crewman approaching the dog and trying to comfort him. Leo was clearly bloodied and traumatized by the accident.

After putting the dog on the helicopter's hoist bed and returning to the park, Leo was transferred back to his owners.

The couple told the USCG: β€œLeo stayed overnight at an emergency vet. He has a few cuts and bruises. All things considered, he is doing good. We are so thankful he is alive and expected to recover."

Ecola State Park is known for the occasional hiker tumbling off the trail. It's also prone to landslides, and just months after a particularly massive landslide in the '60s, a young girl went missing for a few days in the debris. See Intense History at Oregon Coast's Ecola State Park: Murder, Landslide, Explorers

About a decade ago, Oregon Coast Beach Connection documented another rescue of a golden retriever at Depoe Bay.

The dog was chasing after a ball, which sailed over the seawall near the Spouting Horn, causing the dog to jump over the wall and into the surf.

According to editor Andre' Hagestedt, who photographed the near-tragedy:

"This, as is typical of Depoe Bay, was no calm surf. It was broiling and somewhat angry, and all I could see were big waves slamming onto jagged rocks."

No dog was visible at that moment.

Within a minute or less, there were four people on the pathway below, one holding a big, soaking wet golden retriever. Bystanders nearby managed to rescue the goldie, although there were some tense moments as the owner sobbed on the bridge, watching a few attempts before they finally succeeded.

Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Somehow, somebody fished him out, and this is the aftermath. The poor litlle guy was a wreck. What you can't see here is he was shaking uncontrollably.

On December 28, a five-year-old girl in Florence was hanging out on the beach during a rough seas event and was hit by a sneaker wave. That wave also knocked a large log onto her, pinning her face down in the surf. She was quickly extricated by bystanders but was eventually flown to a Springfield hospital. Girl Injured by Log in Florence Surf,

This past Tuesday, a pair of surfers found themselves overpowered in the breakers just off Cape Kiwanda. One was able to make it back fairly soon after responders arrived.

“One of the surfers was able to ride a wave in safely to the beach, while the other was pushed further out,” Tillamook County Sheriff's Office said in a post.

He eventually made it back as well, but not before having to go around the cape in the water. Pacific City: N. Oregon Coast Rescuers Use Drone to Assist Surfer at Cape Kiwanda


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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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