Woman falls to death at Durdle Door after 'slipping on loose rocks'

Woman falls 100ft to her death in front of her daughter after shouting ‘I’m coming down’ as she took short cut down cliff to the beach at Durdle Door in Dorset

  • Woman fell 100ft to her death from the rocky cliffs at Durdle Door in Dorset
  • Emergency teams rushed to the scene after woman fell from cliff on Monday
  • Incident took place as woman was climbing down cliffs above Man o’ War beach
  • Witnesses say people were urging the woman not to climb down before the fall 
  • It is believed the woman’s daughter, thought to be in her 20s, saw the incident 

A woman fell 100ft to her death off a cliff at a coastal beauty spot after attempting to take a ‘short cut’ to the beach, witnesses have today claimed.

The horrifying tragedy is believed to have unfolded in front of the adult daughter of the woman, as they walked near to Durdle Door in Dorset.

Witnesses say the woman was attempting to take a ‘short cut’ to the beach at the popular tourist site when she fell.

She was heard to shout ‘I’m coming down’, before losing her footing and plunging to Man O’ War Beach below.

The woman, who has not yet been named, died at the scene.

Today a witness to the horrifying incident said: ‘The woman was about 20 metres down the cliff when she fell. She chose to climb down the rocks while her daughter took the steps.

Witnesses say the woman was attempting to take a ‘short cut’ to the beach at the popular tourist site when she fell. She was heard to shout out ‘I’m coming down’ before losing her footing and plunging to Man O’ War Beach (pictured: Library image) below 

‘People on the cliff and on the beach were shouting at her to stay still but she didn’t listen and carried on.

‘The rocks were coming loose under feet then she just bounced down. The woman’s daughter saw her fall. It is just awful.’

The incident took place while the beach was packed with people on Monday – the hottest day of the year so far.

Coastguards and police officers rushed to the scene and kept members of the public back while paramedics tried to save the woman.

But she was pronounced dead at the scene at about 3.30pm.

Another woman, thought to be the victim’s daughter, was also treated by ambulance crews for shock.

A witness said the two women had earlier climbed to the top of the rock formation and were making their way down at the time. 

Eleanor Edwards, who was visiting Durdle Door when she say the incident, said: ‘She was climbing down the cliff thinking she could get to the beach.

‘Everyone was telling her to stop and there was nothing anyone could do. It was extremely saddening to witness.’ 

Tourist Rachel Williams said that she heard the woman shout ‘I’m coming down, I’m coming down’ and that many people on the beach told her to stay where she was.

Witness Michelle Attard saw the aftermath of the accident as she left the beach on the Durdle Door side of the cliff.

She said: ‘We saw the unfortunate sight of the poor woman lying at bottom of the cliff at Man O’ War beach with a couple of paramedics around her.

‘There was another lady who was laying there being tended to, she looked quite traumatised. It was very, very unfortunate.’

In recent years the Durdle Door landmark on the Jurassic Coast has become a hugely popular with thrillseekers, selfie-takers and Instgrammers as well as beachgoers.

Last summer two young men were seriously injured while tombstoning 200ft off the top of the rocky archway.

In April, two basejumpers were slammed for filming themselves making the same jump into the sea using parachutes.

A selfie-taker who risked his life to get a picture of himself perched on top of the same cliffs where yesterday’s tragedy occurred also came in for criticism.

And two weeks ago a teenage had to be rescued by coastguards after getting stuck climbing down the steep grassy cliff above Durdle Door.

A spokeswoman for Dorset Police said: ‘At 3.07pm on Monday Dorset Police received a report that a woman had fallen from a cliff at Durdle Door near Lulworth.

The incident near Durdle Door (pictured: Library image) happened at 3.07pm on Monday and police are now investigating the circumstances of this death which is not believed to be suspicious

‘Officers attended together with other emergency services colleagues. Sadly, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

‘Officers are investigating the circumstances of this tragic incident.’

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: ‘Lulworth and Kimmeridge Coastguard rescue teams, along with the coastguard

helicopter from Lee-on-Solent were sent along with South Western Ambulance and Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and Dorset Police.’

A spokeswoman for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that fire crews from Bere Regis, Dorchester and Weymouth were at the scene to support emergency services.

She said: ‘We were called at 3.14pm after reports that someone had fallen from height at Man O’War beach.

‘We have crews from Bere Regis and Dorchester in attendance, along with a technical rescue team from Weymouth.’

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