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Rescuers had to contend with a frightened dog after its owner slipped at a waterfall near Hastings and the animal would not let them help him.
The man and his dog slipped and fell down a waterfall at Ecclesbourne Glen last night.
Rescue teams went to the scene to locate the badly injured man but his dog was extremely frightened and was hampering the rescue effort by preventing paramedics getting close enough to his owner.
Dover Coastguard arranged for two dog handlers to be transferred to the scene via the Hastings inshore lifeboat.
The dog handlers were able to safely remove the animal and the man was airlifted to hospital in Brighton by coastguard helicopter with a suspected broken leg and head injuries.
Dover Senior Watch Manager Gordon Wise said: "We always encourage members of the public to keep dogs on leads when walking.
"This was an extremely unusual rescue, the rescue helicopter had to wait for the dog to be removed before the casualty could be recovered.
"The casualty is now receiving medical treatment and the dog has been reunited with the casualty's partner.''