A man left clinging on to a cliff near Combe Martin after trying to save his dog was rescued by local coastguard teams on New Year’s Day yesterday (Tuesday).

Coastguard team members climb down to rescue a man and his dog at Little Hangman in Combe Martin. Picture: Lynmouth CoastguardCoastguard team members climb down to rescue a man and his dog at Little Hangman in Combe Martin. Picture: Lynmouth Coastguard

Ilfracombe and Lynmouth coastguard teams were called out at around 2.30pm to the precarious spot near Little Hangman.

George the lurcher had gone over the cliff and fallen 30 metres to a ledge and his owner Julius Naim had got into difficulty trying to rescue him.

Ropes were set up and a coastguard climbed down to rescue Julius, then went back down to pick up George in a dog recovery bag.

The pair were shaken but neither required any medical attention.

Coastguard team members climb down to rescue a man and his dog at Little Hangman in Combe Martin. Picture: Lynmouth CoastguardCoastguard team members climb down to rescue a man and his dog at Little Hangman in Combe Martin. Picture: Lynmouth Coastguard

But coastguards have warned the incident could have had a very outcome and so easily ended in tragedy.

They urged dog walkers never to try to attempt to rescue their dog if it goes over a cliff, but instead to call 999 and ask for the coastguard, which has all the necessary equipment to carry out a rescue.

A grateful Julius posted on Facebook: 'Thank you so, so much. You're all so amazing, thank you for saving me and my dog'.

The Rescue 924 helicopter from Newquay also attended the incident but was not needed and was then called away to another cliff fall in South Wales.

Safely reunited at the top. Julius and George after their narrow escape near Little Hangman in Combe Martin. Picture: Lynmouth CoastguardSafely reunited at the top. Julius and George after their narrow escape near Little Hangman in Combe Martin. Picture: Lynmouth Coastguard