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.

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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.”

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