AN IRISHMAN was rescued from the base of a cliff in Co. Clare after he got into trouble while trying to save a pony from drowning.
The man bravely waded into the water to try and help the poor animal to safety, but was sadly unsuccessful.
It was reported around 1pm on Sunday that a man was trapped at the bottom of a 30ft cliff at Kilcrona near Carrigaholt on the Shannon Estuary.
In actuality, he wasn't trapped, but was trying to save a pony which had bolted into the water while walking along the beach.
The pony was treading water before the man managed to encourage it onto a rocky ledge underneath the steep cliff.
But rising tides prevented the man and animal from simply walking to safety.
The Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry set about alerting and mobilising search and rescue assets shortly after 1pm when the incident was reported.
A lifeboat was launched and quickly located a man who was trying to hold onto a pony.
Coast Guard volunteers reached the man and gave him a lifejacket and also managed to get him and the pony onto a higher and safer ledge.
Because the pony couldn't be rescued from the ledge, the lifeboat crew managed to get a rope to the animal and coax it to swim behind their vessel. The man then climbed back to the cliff top to safety accompanied by Coast Guard personnel.
The lifeboat then managed to tow the pony as close to shore as it could, before releasing it in the hope it would swim ashore.
Once the boat left however, perhaps due to poor weather conditions, the confused animal didn't swim toward the beach and instead swam away from the shore and was not recovered.
While the rescued man was unharmed, the pony was lost at sea and is feared to have drowned.