Thursday 14 December 2017

Person believed to be trapped after Dorset landslide

Rod Minchin and Ryan Hooper

A 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."

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