Climber dies after fall near Dancing Ledge

Swanage lifeboats, along with three coastguard cliff rescue teams, a coastguard helicopter and air ambulance all dashed to rescue a man in his 60s.

Despite the rapid response, sadly the climber was unable to be saved after falling from a cliff near Dancing Ledge along the Purbeck coast in Dorset.

Dorset and Somerset air ambulance

The Dorset and Somerset Air ambuilance circled Swanage Bay before landing at Dancing Ledge further west along the coast

Emergency services were quickly on the scene

Both of Swanage’s lifeboats launched at 4.47 pm on Saturday 17th September 2022, as the other emergency services all quickly made their way to Guillemot Ledge – recognised as a challenging cliff climb, only suitable for experienced climbers.

Arriving eight minutes later, the crew from the inshore lifeboat went ashore to assess the man’s injuries. He was quickly put on a stretcher and transferred onto the larger all weather lifeboat, while continuing to receive treatment.

Coastguard cliff rescue teams from Swanage, St Albans and Kimmeridge arrived and, shortly afterwards, the Dorset and Somerset air ambulance flew overhead and landed on the lower ledge of nearby Dancing Ledge.

Meanwhile, a second climber from the group was also brought aboard the all weather lifeboat to be checked over.

Coastguard serach and rescue helicopter

The coastguard search and rescue helicopter arrived at the scene, along with cliff rescue teams from Swanage, St Albans and Kimmeridge

“Tragically, the paramedics declared that the casualty had not survived the fall”

Swanage Lifeboat Station reported:

“The inshore lifeboat was able to quickly transfer two Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance paramedics from Dancing Ledge to the all weather lifeboat, to take over care of the casualty and, tragically, the paramedics declared that the casualty had not survived the fall.

“The air ambulance and lifeboats made their way back to Swanage to be met by police while the coastguard teams made sure that other climbers in the area and the scene were safe.

“Our thoughts are with the casualty’s family and friends at this time.”

air ambulance and Swanage RNLI at Dancing Ledge
RNLI/Tom Burn Media

The air ambulance landed nearby at Dancing Ledge

“Our thoughts are with the man’s family and loved ones at this difficult time”

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said:

“Very sadly it was confirmed that the man, aged 69 and from Milton Keynes, was pronounced dead at the scene. The death is not being treated as suspicious.

“His next of kin have been informed and our thoughts are with the man’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.”

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