Ewe only live twice – Sheep rescued from ledge after 200ft cliff fall

The Lough Swilly RNLI came to the rescue of a stranded sheep on a ledge after falling approximately 200 feet from a cliff in Donegal. Three eagle-eyed local fishermen spotted the animal stranded precariously on a ledge in a ravine at Leenan Head and raised the alarm Sunday afternoon. The men contacted the Malin Head Coast Guard and Lough Swilly’s inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat was sent to the rescue.


The volunteer crew was met by the fishermen who pointed out where the sheep was located. A kayaker had also arrived on scene and had attempted to encourage the animal back up the hill.

After this failed the lifeboat crew and the kayaker entered the water and made their way towards the sheep. They safely caught her and placed her in the kayak before transferring her to the lifeboat. The animal was extremely shaken but not injured and the crew comforted her. She was safely brought back to the shore and familiar ground.

Following the call out Joe Joyce, Press Officer of the Lough Swilly RNLI, said ‘We think the young sheep had fallen about 200 feet and with nowhere to go she was shaking from her ordeal by the time we took her onboard the lifeboat. The RNLI is often called upon to rescue animals and we are always happy to assist not only to bring them to safety but also to ensure the safety of pet owners or farmers who may risk their own life in attempting to bring their animal safely back to shore.’

About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me ann@coastmonkey.ie or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22