Hundreds evacutated from Durdle Door as four injured 'jumping off 200ft arch'

30 May 2020, 19:17 | Updated: 30 May 2020, 20:41

Three people have suffered serious injuries and are being treated by the ambulance service
Three people have suffered serious injuries and are being treated by the ambulance service. Picture: Purbeck Police

By Matt Drake

Hundreds of beachgoers have been evacuated from Durdle Door after four people were injured jumping from the 200ft arch into the sea.

Dorset Police said officers were called at 3.43pm after reports of concern for the safety of people who were jumping off the limestone arch cliff into the sea.

Four people have been injured, with at least three of them sustaining serious injuries.

A spokeswoman from Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance confirmed that an adult male was airlifted to Southhampton Hospital 50 miles away.

Chief Inspector Claire Phillips said: "We have had to close the beach at Durdle Door to allow air ambulances to land. As a result, we are evacuating the beach and the surrounding cliff area.

"I am urging people to leave the area to enable emergency services to treat the injured people."

Please avoid Durdle Door as the beach is now CLOSED due to two helicopters having to land for two separate incidents....

Posted by Purbeck Police on Saturday, 30 May 2020
The divers reportedly jumped off the 200ft arch cliff
The divers reportedly jumped off the 200ft arch cliff. Picture: PA

It comes as thousands of Brits have flocked to beaches to enjoy the weather.

But the majority of beaches across the UK currently have no lifeguards on duty due to coronavirus.

HM Coastguard and the RNLI are helping to clear the area after police were called at around 3.45pm.

Covid restrictions have also recently been relaxed by the Government and groups of up to six people will be able to meet as of next Monday.

However people have been urged not to flout the current restrictions and to maintain social distancing at a distance of six-feet (2m).

People enjoying the good weather on the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth in Dorset
People enjoying the good weather on the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth in Dorset. Picture: PA
People have been urged not to flout the current restrictions and to maintain social distancing
People have been urged not to flout the current restrictions and to maintain social distancing. Picture: Facebook - Purbeck Police
It comes as thousands of Brits have flocked to beaches to enjoy the weather
It comes as thousands of Brits have flocked to beaches to enjoy the weather. Picture: PA

Hundreds of people can be seen in pictures - posted by Purbeck Police - huddled together in close proximity as they give a wide-birth for helicopters to land.

Writing on Facebook, the force said: "Please avoid Durdle Door as the beach is now CLOSED due to two helicopters having to land for two separate incidents.

"Expect high volumes of traffic as beachgoers depart from the scene. Thank you."

A post on Poole Police's Facebook page said people were jumping from the arch at the site, and videos posted on other social media networks show people climbing and making the leap from the 200ft rocks.

The post reads: "Officers and partner agencies are dealing with a critical incident at Durdle Door. The incident involved people jumping from the arch into the sea. Four people have been injured as a result. They are receiving Medical attention.

"Emergency Services are trying to deal with the incident. We ask please that you avoid the area for the rest of the day. If you are currently at the location, please calmly make your way home so we can ensure effective service delivery.

"The arch of Durdle Door is approximately 200 feet in height. Hitting water from that height can be critical.

"This is further compounded by tides, currents and altering depth of the sea bed. It is not an appropriate location for this type of activity."

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