Police praise bystanders who tried to save life of woman in Swanage

The importance of knowing where life saving defibrillators are in Swanage has been highlighted by Purbeck Police, after a woman collapsed at Swanage Market.

The incident happened on Friday 26th November 2021 at the weekly market in the Main Beach Carpark just off Victoria Avenue.


The woman was in cardiac arrest and immediately members of the public went to her aid including off duty coastguard volunteers.

Tried to resuscitate her

Before emergency services, were able to arrive, they tried to resuscitate her using CPR and someone rushed to get a nearby defibrillator.

A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.

Thanks to the impressive fundraising efforts of the Swanage Community Defibrillator Partnership, there are more than 35 defibs across Purbeck.

Sadly, despite everyone’s efforts, including the air ambulance paramedics, they were unable to save the woman.

Defibrillator on wall in Swanage
Purbeck Police

One of the many defibrillators in Swanage

“We would like to thank the members of the public

Purbeck Police have praised the quick thinking of those at the scene and say that this incident highlights how important it is to know where the defibrillators are in their local area. An incident like this can happen at any time and in any place.

Purbeck Police said:

“Yesterday Purbeck officers attended a cardiac arrest at King George’s car park in Swanage to help our ambulance colleagues. We were also assisted by off duty coastguard volunteers as well as the air ambulance.

“We would like to thank the members of the public who helped at the scene before the arrival of the emergency services and who had already fetched their nearest defibrillator, which happened to be only metres away!

“The outcome unfortunately was not the one we hoped for however this incident has really highlighted how important bystander CPR is and how important the defibrillators of Swanage are and knowing where to find them.”

Further information

  • Swanage Community Defibrillator Partnership website
  • The location of defibrillators in Swanage and the surrounding area can be found on this map

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