Beachgoers form a human chain to help rescue a stricken swimmer off the Dorset coast
[Aug. 21, 2020: Joshua Shavit]
More than 20 people linked arms to enter the sea and successfully bring back to shore the stricken swimmer who got into trouble in choppy seas off Durdle Door beach on Thursday afternoon.
The coastguard said the swimmer was unhurt but warned against going in the sea in windy conditions.
Witness Jennie Bell said the surf had been "really huge" when it became clear someone was in difficulty some way out in the water.
"There was a chain of people stretching to the sea as much as they dared," she said.
"Eventually the person managed to surf a wave and somebody managed to grab him
"I was certain it would end differently. It was unbelievable - what selfless, selfless people."
A statement by Lulworth Coastguard Rescue team said: "With the large waves and spring tides of late, we strongly discourage sea swimming and playing around in the surf, especially on exposed beaches such as Durdle Door.
"The undertow is very powerful and will have no trouble taking you off your feet."
The Jurassic Coast beach has been popular since lockdown restrictions eased.
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Want to learn more?
Durdle Door is one of Dorset’s most photographed and iconic landmarks. It is close to Lulworth Cove and the iconic rock arch of Durdle Door, the holiday park is ideally situated between Weymouth and Swanage in one of the most accessible and spectacular parts of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. This delightful uncommercialised park has direct access to the South West Coast path, beautiful unspoilt beaches, stunning countryside and iconic Jurassic Coast landmarks.
Durdle Door Holiday Park is ideal for those who share a love of the outdoors. Walking, exploring, watersports, sunbathing, swimming - they are all close by.
With a newly refurbished restaurant and bar, Man O' War, as well as an on-site shop, the park has everything you need for a relaxing holiday or short break.
Access to the pebble and shingle beach is on foot via a path and steps over the hill from Lulworth Cove or down from the Car Park (charges apply) which is located on the cliff top at Durdle Door Holiday Park. There is a half mile walk (approx 30 minutes) along a steep path downhill, plus a further 150 steps down onto the beach.