Person trapped after Burton Bradstock beach landslide

 

One person is believed to be trapped under rocks after a landslide at a beach.

Police, the fire service, ambulance service and the Coastguard were dealing with the incident near the Freshwater Beach Holiday Park at Burton Bradstock, near Bridport, Dorset.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said Portland Coastguard was told a person was trapped under the fallen rocks between Freshwater and Burton Bradstock in an emergency call received just before 12.30pm.

The incident comes two weeks after Somerset couple Rosemary Snell, 67, and Michael Rolfe, 72, were killed in a landslide at the Beaminster Tunnel just nine miles away.

In a joint statement Dorset Police and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said: "At just after 12.30pm today Dorset Police were called to a report from the coastguard of a landslide by the Freshwater Beach Holiday Park.

"Officers, with assistance from the police helicopter, are currently working alongside Dorset Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies to search the area.

"The Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) from Devon and Somerset has also been deployed to this incident. This is a national resource."

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said three Coastguard rescue teams and the Coastguard rescue helicopter based in Portland were at the scene in Lyme Bay.

A spokeswoman said: "Portland Coastguard received a report of a landslide between Freshwater and Burton Bradstock at just before 12.30pm.

"The landslide was reported to be 400 metres from Freshwater caravan park and the caller reported that a person was trapped under the fallen rocks.

"West Bay, Lyme and Wyke Coastguard Rescue Teams and their managers are currently on scene with the Coastguard rescue helicopter based in Portland. They are working with Dorset Police, Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, South Western Ambulance Service and the lifeboat from Lyme Regis to search for those who may be trapped and to keep the public away from the area surrounding the landslide."

A spokesman for the South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said: "One person is reported as being trapped and the ambulance service is working in partnership with the other agencies on the scene to reach them as quickly as possible.

"We dispatched a number of vehicles to the Burton Bradstock area following a number of calls made to the service just after 12.30pm today, including the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and the service's Hazardous Area Response Team, who are trained to deal with a whole manner of challenging scenes."

Witnesses said there had been one death at the site, which is known locally as Hive Beach.

A worker at the Hive Beach Cafe said: "We have heard from people working at the scene that there has been one fatality.

"There was significant rockfall.

"We are waiting to find out more information but it is terribly sad."

The landslide comes just over two weeks after severe flooding left much of the community under water.

Residents said that flood water surged to heights of about one metre at its worst, forcing home owners to flee and scattering vehicles through the village.

It is believed the folk singer and protester Billy Bragg still has a home in the area.

The beach forms part of the historic Jurassic Coast - from Swanage in Dorset to Exmouth in Devon - sections of which have been crumbling into the sea for years.

Last week, Dorset Council issued a warning to visitors and walkers of the risk of landslides, following the heavy deluge of rain.

The council said the western end of the Esplanade at West Bay, near Burton Bradstock, had been closed at the weekend "due to concerns about continuing land stability in the area following the exceptional wet weather".

The council, posting on its website on June 20, said it had found large overhanging rocks at the top of the cliff at the western end of West Bay Esplanade, which appeared "ready to fall".

The statement added: "Some of these have already broken free and are perched on other overhanging rocks.

"There is a large amount of fresh rock fall debris on the sloping section of the cliff. Some of this looks unstable.

"At the western end of the Esplanade, particularly when it is raining, inspections frequently find rocks up to 600mm long on the walkway."

A National Trust spokesman said: "Our thoughts are with all those involved in this tragic accident.

"Coastlines are dynamic and changing environments and it is impossible to predict when these kinds of events might occur.

"National Trust land at Burton Bradstock will remain closed whilst we assist the emergency services in whatever way we can."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat