A woman who was trapped in a cave in Dorset has died after attempts to rescue her failed

A 30-year-old woman has died after becoming

trapped by rising waters in a blowhole at Tilly Whim caves in Dorset.

Coastguards spent two hours talking to the

climber through a 15ft deep blowhole while lifeboat crews tried to rescue her.

A member of the rescue team eventually

managed to reach her but found she had died.

The tragedy happened after the woman and

her 31-year-old brother, who are both thought to be from London, were

‘coasteering’, an adventure sport that involves climbing along a rock face

before jumping into the sea.

The alarm was raised at 3pm on Saturday

afternoon when a member of the public spotted the brother in difficulty in the


The man was rescued by helicopter before

crews attempted to rescue his sister. 

Coastguards climbed into the cave

while the Swanage lifeboat approached from the water in 10ft waves.

Swanage lifeboat’s Dave Turnbull

said: “The woman had been washed into a small cave at the base of the

cliffs that had a blowhole at the top that wasn’t very accessible.

“The helicopter winchman got

into a position where he could talk to her through the gap. She seemed to be

out of the water but there was no way we could reach her. 

“As the tide rose, many further

attempts to reach her were made but the rough conditions, with the tide rising

and seas breaking over the heads of the rescuers at times, proved impossible to


“With the tide getting higher

another coastguard officer entered through the blowhole but found the woman had

sadly succumbed to the conditions. It was very sad and a truly awful situation

to have been in.”

The operation to recover the woman’s body

was called off as conditions worsened.

A Dorset Police spokesman said:

“Despite the best efforts of the coastguard rescue team, the search was

abandoned due to the extreme weather conditions, and the female was not located

and remains unaccounted for.

“Dorset Police are currently liaising

with the family, and continue to work with partner agencies.”

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Image by TrekEarth