Durdle Door closed to public after four injured jumping off arch

31 May 2020, 09:49

Four people were injured jumping off the arch on Saturday
Four people were injured jumping off the arch on Saturday. Picture: Purbeck Police

By Kate Buck

Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove have been closed to the public after four people were injured jumping of the world-famous arch on Saturday.

The incident meant hundreds of people were forced to cram together on the busy beach while two air ambulances landed on the sand to rescue those injured.

Three of them suffered serious injuries.

On Saturday, a post on Poole Police's Facebook page said the "critical incident" had involved people jumping from the arch of Durdle Door into the sea.

"The arch of Durdle Door is approximately 200 feet in height. Hitting water from that height, roughly 77mph, can be critical," it said.

"This is further compounded by tides, currents and altering depth of the sea bed. It is NOT an appropriate location for this type of activity."

People were then evacuated en masse
People were then evacuated en masse. Picture: Purbeck Police

Dorset County Council said the roads to and from the local beauty spots will be closed today, with measures being reviewed tomorrow. Anyone who tries to go to the area will be turned around.

The famous world-heritage site has become an area of criticism after multiple pictures emerged in recent weeks of people failing to adhere to social distancing rules.

But the hundreds which chose to spend their Saturday at the beaches needed to huddle in close together so the two helicopters could land safely, before being evacuated en masse.

Dorset Police said officers were called at 3.43pm yesterday after reports of concern for the safety of people who were jumping off the limestone arch cliff into the sea.

A spokeswoman from Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance confirmed that an adult male was airlifted to Southhampton Hospital 50 miles away.

Chief Inspector Claire Phillips said: "We have had to close the beach at Durdle Door to allow air ambulances to land. As a result, we are evacuating the beach and the surrounding cliff area.

"I am urging people to leave the area to enable emergency services to treat the injured people."

It comes as thousands of Brits have flocked to beaches to enjoy the weather.But the majority of beaches across the UK currently have no lifeguards on duty due to coronavirus.

Covid restrictions have also recently been relaxed by the Government and groups of up to six people will be able to meet as of next Monday.

However people have been urged not to flout the current restrictions and to maintain social distancing at a distance of six-feet (2m).