Miracle as school pupil survives 60 foot fall from Old Harry

In a lucky escape, a 15 year old boy on a school trip to Old Harry in Studland, Dorset, managed to avoid serious injury after falling 60 feet off the cliff to the beach below.

Five emergency services including Swanage and St Albans coastguard teams, Swanage lifeboat crews and the air ambulance were called to the incident just before 2 pm on Thursday 20th June 2024.  

15 year old boy being taken by lifeboat to Knoll Beach
Swanage RNLI

The 15 year old boy is rescued from the beach at Old Harry and taken to Knoll Beach in Studland by the Swanage lifeboat crew

Old Harry Rocks
Library image

Signs at Old Harry warn of the danger

Posing for a photo

However on arrival, the lifeboat crews found the teenager being looked after by a local activity company. He was at the bottom of the cliff on the shingle beach, surprisingly having received only minor injuries.

It is understood that he was posing for a photo when he stumbled over the sheer drop.   

The inshore lifeboat picked up the teenager from the beach and then transferred him to the larger all weather lifeboat for a thorough examination considering the significant height of the fall but was found to have only a few cuts and grazes.

The boy was dropped off by boat at nearby Knoll Beach where he was met by the coastguard and the ambulance service.

However with no significant injuries he rejoined his school group from London.

Swanage lifeboat goes to rescue of 15 year old boy at Old Harry
Swanage RNLI

Swanage inshore lifeboat crew arrive at the Old Harry beach to find to their relief that the boy despite having fallen off the cliff is “walking wounded”.

emergency services at Knoll beach in Studland
Purbeck Police

The boy was taken to Knoll Beach in Studland by lifeboat to be medically assessed by the ambulance staff helped by the coastguard teams

“One very lucky person”

Swanage coastguard station officer Ian Brown said:

“Emergency crews were astonished by the absence of serious injuries considering the distance he fell – he is one very lucky person.

“I would urge everyone to stay back from the top of any cliff including at Old Harry. It is a beautiful spot and a great place to take photos but there’s no need to go close to the edge. The ground is uneven and it’s easy to trip. 

“Please take notice of the warning signs.” 

Watch RNLI rescue

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