Friday 18 January 2019

Heatwave tragedy as 5-year-old girl dies when she's swept out to sea at UK beauty spot

A view of Durdle Door in Dorset (John Walton/PA)
A view of Durdle Door in Dorset (John Walton/PA) Newsdesk Newsdesk

A five-year-old girl has been swept to her death during a day out at the seaside.

Police said the girl was in the sea at Durdle Door in Dorset with a woman, thought to have been her mother, when the pair got into difficulty.

A member of the public ran into the water and helped the woman out but could not save the girl.

A Ministry of Defence military range safety boat, which was in the area, responded to a Mayday broadcast and rushed to the beach and recovered the girl from the water.

The girl, from the Salisbury area, was handed over to a lifeboat crew who desperately tried to resuscitate her.

She was handed over to ambulance paramedics who rushed her to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester where she was pronounced dead.

It came on the hottest day of the year in the UK so far as temperatures have reached highs of 25C in the south east.

The tragic incident in Dorset happened at 11.30am. Detective Inspector Steve May, of Dorset Police, said: "Our thoughts are with the family of the young girl involved at this very difficult time.

"At this time there is nothing to suggest this was anything other than a tragic accident however, with the sudden death of any child we have an obligation to carry out an investigation to establish the full circumstances of what happened.

"I am appealing to anyone who witnessed how the girl came to be in the water and has not already spoken to police to contact us immediately.

"There were also a number of visitors in the area at the time and I am appealing to anyone who may have filmed or photographed the incident to please get in touch as it may assist our investigation."

A spokesman for Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "Just before 11.30am today we received multiple 999 calls from members of the public reporting a child and a woman in distress in the water at Durdle Door, Dorset.

"We immediately issued a Mayday relay broadcast to all vessels in the area. A MOD military range safety vessel responded and was almost immediately on scene.

"The adult casualty was rescued by a member of the public and the child casualty was recovered from the water by the MOD vessel."

The Lulworth and Wyke Regis coastguard teams attended the incident along with the Weymouth lifeboat and the coastguard helicopter.

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