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Helicopter Rescues Dog From 90-Foot Cliff In Sonoma County

SONOMA (CBS SF) -- Sonoma County sheriff's deputies rescued a dog that became stranded after falling over a cliff along the Sonoma coast Saturday afternoon.

The dog's owner called 911 at about 1:45 p.m. to report that her dog, a black Labrador retriever, had fallen over a cliff in the Portuguese Beach area, according to the sheriff's office.

Knowing from prior experiences that bystanders may often risk their own lives trying to save animals in distress, the sheriff's office launched its helicopter "Henry-1" to the scene.

The helicopter quickly located the dog about 40 feet down the 90-foot cliff, perched on a 2-foot-by-2-foot ledge and unable to move without falling, according to the sheriff's office.

The pilot of the helicopter landed nearby and a deputy sheriff affixed a 100-foot "long line" to the belly of the aircraft.

The deputy then attached himself to the bottom of the line and was flown to the ledge where the dog was stranded.

The dog was wearing a chest harness, which the deputy used to help secure the dog, according to the sheriff's office.

Once the dog was secured, the animal was flown to the top of the cliff and released to Bodega Bay fire personnel, who quickly reunited the dog with its owner.

The rescue took less than three minutes to complete, the sheriff's office reported.

The "Henry-1" crew is based at Sonoma County Airport and routinely trains with all types of technical rescues including cliff, ocean, remote rugged terrain, swift water and occasional animal rescues.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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