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