Helicopter rescues teenagers swept out to sea at Durdle Door

Hearing screams from a group of four girls clinging to rocks in the sea at Durdle Door in Dorset, a number of people on the shore called 999, triggering a multi-agency emergency response.

The dramatic incident on the Lulworth Estate, happened around 4.30 pm on Thursday 6th April 2023 on one of the first bright and sunny days of the year at the start of the Easter holidays.

Helicopter rescue at Durdle Door
Kimmeridge Coastguard

With the lifeboat unable to reach the people in the sea, the coastguard helicopter was called in to help

Lifeboat attempted to reach the group

Arriving on the scene were Kimmeridge and Lulworth Coastguard Rescue teams, the Weymouth Lifeboat crew, Dorset Police and a South Western ambulance team.

The Weymouth Lifeboat attempted to reach the group of four but was unable to manoeuvre close enough in, so the decision was made for the coastguard helicopter to winch them, one by one, out of the sea and into the helicopter.

Helicopter rescue at Durdle Door
Kimmeridge Coastguard

The sea currents that swirl around Durdle Door can be stronger than some realise

“People were screaming for help, clinging to rocks”

Kimmeridge Coastguard reported:

“Multiple 999 calls were received from members of the public informing that a group of people were screaming for help, clinging to rocks a little way out to sea.

“With Weymouth Lifeboat on the scene and unable to attempt a safe rescue due to the sea state and location issues, it was down to coastguard helicopter R175 to carry out a winch recovery, lifting the four people onto the helicopter.”

“With wet suits on the four people had been swept out to sea and managed to get to the rocks for safety until help arrived.”

Helicopter rescue at Durdle Door
Kimmeridge Coastguard

The coastguard helps the helicopter land safely in order to get the four people to the waiting ambulance crew

Minor leg complaints

The helicopter then needed to get the four teenagers to the waiting ambulance, so the coastguard teams organised a landing site and then helped keep them warm.

They were transferred over to the ambulance crew who checked them over for effects of cold and treated two of them who had minor leg complaints.

With the four girls safely rescued and in the hands of the ambulance crew, all other emergency teams were able to return home.

Kimmeridge Coastguard added:

“Huge thanks as always for the great support from the Lulworth Rangers for all their help.”

Share this story

Contact us

Do you have anything to add to this story?

We like to keep everything up-to-date, so if you know more, please help us by getting in touch.


Top stories

Three weeks of roadworks to begin in Corfe Castle Just in time for the new school term, a three-week lane closure on the A351 at Corfe Castle begins on Monday 15th April 2024. 1 month ago More Purbeck visitors urged to take trip to Brownsea 2 months ago Heritage loco derails during Swanage Railway diesel gala 6 days ago Swanage nightclub transforms into top new venue 1 month ago Open invitation to explore one of Swanage’s best kept secrets 3 weeks ago

Most recent

New sanctuary garden officially opened in Swanage Designed as a quiet place to sit and reflect, a beautiful garden has been created in Swanage for cancer charity Cancare, made possible by a generous bequest from a local ... 38 mins ago Purbeck’s first shuffleboard tournament to raise funds for skatepark 1 day ago Sounding good – launch of new radio station for Purbeck 2 days ago Flying the Blue Flag for Swanage again 3 days ago Purbeck back on TV for Channel 5’s Big Steam Adventure 4 days ago