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Man Rescuing Puppy Killed In Cliff Plunge
A man has been killed and his girlfriend seriously injured after they fell 150ft from a cliff while trying to rescue their pet puppy.
Rhys Clark, 27, had been given mongrel Sherlock by an animal welfare shelter two months ago.
Mr Clark and his Polish-born girlfriend Ania, 25, were walking the one-year-old pet at the beauty spot in Bridgend, South Wales, when he tumbled over the edge.
Sherlock landed on a ledge more than 10ft below - and both Rhys and Ania tried to climb down to reach him.
But the pair slipped and fell hand-in-hand on to the pebble beach 150ft below.
Mr Clark was killed instantly but PhD student Ania survived with serious injuries and has been recovering in hospital.
The puppy was also killed.
Mr Clark's heartbroken mum Janet, 64, said: "One of the things Rhys always said he wanted to do was to rescue an abandoned puppy and give it a good home.
"My son would still be here if it wasn't for the dog but I can't look at it like that.
"I had the most wonderful son, I don't know what I'm going to do without him. I just hope he didn't suffer."
Mr Clark, from Hay-on-Wye, Powys, had a first class honours degree and first class master's in engineering from Cardiff University, where he met Ania three years ago.
His mother said they were planning to marry, have children and settle down in the Herefordshire countryside, where he had always dreamed of living.
The Chelsea fan was working as an environmental engineer in Lincolnshire during the week and travelling back to the flat he and Ania shared in Cardiff Bay.
The pair had a regular walk along the cliffs at Southerndown - a popular filming location for the TV show Dr Who.
The Coastguard and an RAF rescue helicopter were called to the bottom of the steep cliffs after other walkers saw them go over.
Ania suffered multiple fractures including a broken pelvis and broken leg. She is expected to make a good recovery and her father has flown from Poland to be at her hospital bedside.
Mr Clark's mother said: "I have been to see her in hospital - we have told her that Rhys and the dog died.
"She was very badly hurt and can't remember anything that happened."
South Wales Police say the fall was being treated as a tragic accident and is being investigated for the coroner. An inquest has been opened, with Mr Clark's funeral due to take place on Thursday.