Parked car blocks vital emergency access to Studland beach

Swanage Coastguard, on one of the busiest weekends of the year so far, found a car parked across an emergency gate at Middle Beach in Studland, making it harder for the rescue team to respond quickly.

With the hot weather drawing thousands of visitors to the beach, the National Trust owned car parks were extremely busy and some motorists decided to park across access points to the beach that are specially designed to allow emergency vehicles to drive quickly down to the shoreline.

Swanage Coastguard said:

“Just trying to get to the beach for us was a problem with a car blocking the emergency access. ‘Please keep access clear for emergency vehicles’, clearly isn’t applicable to some.”

Fire on Studland Beach
Swanage Coastguard

A fire found on Studland Beach by Swanage Coastguard, despite the ban

Highest amount of call outs in a single day

Across the UK, the HM Coastguard dealt with 340 incidents on Saturday 8th August 2020 – its highest amount of call outs in a single day for well over four years. In Purbeck, the Swanage Coastguard was also kept busy.

Incidents included providing first aid to an unconscious woman on Swanage Beach by the Mowlem, helping a woman stung by something in the water at Chapman’s Pool and treating a badly cut hand in Studland. Also in Studland there were three incidents including fires. Swanage Coastguard added:

“Despite the warning signs people still choose to ignore the ban on barbecues and fires.”

On arrival in Studland, the Swanage Coastguard took a photo of the blocked emergency access. Not only was the black Mercedes parked illegally but also according to the government’s database it was also untaxed.

This is not the first time that the coastguard has found emergency access gates in Studland blocked.

“All accesses must be kept clear”

This car was photographed back in May 2020 and at the time, Swanage Coastguard issued this reminder:

“Please don’t block gates – it might be you that the emergency services are being called to and this would stop them. It clearly says on the gate to keep clear. The area has a high fire risk and all accesses must be kept clear.”

Car blocking emergency access in Studland
Swanage Coastguard

This Mercedes car spotted in May 2020, was reported for illegal parking on double yellow lines and across an emergency access gate

HM Coastguard head of coastguard operations, Richard Hackwell commenting on the busy weekend said:

“We have seen a big rise in incident numbers this weekend as more people visit coastal areas and head to the beach. We understand that people want to have fun at the coast and enjoy the heatwave but we urge everyone to respect the sea and take responsibility in helping to ensure the safety of themselves, friends and family.

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