Backlash builds over RNLI scrapping patrols after four tombstoners are injured in Dorset

The RNLI is facing demands to bring its lifeguards after four tombstoners were injured in Dorset as thousands head to beaches and parks again today to soak up the 75F (23C) sun.

Sixteen beach patrols out of a possible 248 have been reinstated prompting furious backlash as people flock to the coast.

Some lifeguards have started patrolling for free but without the RNLI’s backing they don’t have access to official lifesaving equipment, The Times reports. 

Pictured: A man jumps from the 200ft ancient limestone arch yesterday at Durdle Door, Dorset

Pictured: A man jumps from the 200ft ancient limestone arch yesterday at Durdle Door, Dorset

Pictured: A man jumps from the 200ft ancient limestone arch yesterday at Durdle Door, Dorset

Pictured: A man jumps from the 200ft ancient limestone arch yesterday at Durdle Door, Dorset

Pictured: A man jumps from the 200ft ancient limestone arch yesterday at Durdle Door, Dorset

People are pictured descending on the beach at Durdle Door, Dorset, despite the council warning that it is closed today

People are pictured descending on the beach at Durdle Door, Dorset, despite the council warning that it is closed today

People are pictured descending on the beach at Durdle Door, Dorset, despite the council warning that it is closed today 

Pictured: A council worker places a warning sign at the scene in Durdle Door after people yesterday leaped into the sea

Pictured: A council worker places a warning sign at the scene in Durdle Door after people yesterday leaped into the sea

Pictured: A council worker places a warning sign at the scene in Durdle Door after people yesterday leaped into the sea 

Crowds are pictured in south-west London as people gathered on Parsons Green amid the coronavirus lockdown with temperatures rising

Crowds are pictured in south-west London as people gathered on Parsons Green amid the coronavirus lockdown with temperatures rising

Crowds are pictured in south-west London as people gathered on Parsons Green amid the coronavirus lockdown with temperatures rising 

People are pictured congregating in Parson's Green, south-west London, last night as temperatures soar in the south-east

People are pictured congregating in Parson's Green, south-west London, last night as temperatures soar in the south-east

People are pictured congregating in Parson’s Green, south-west London, last night as temperatures soar in the south-east 

Huge crowds gathered in Parsons Green, south-west London, last night as temperatures soar amid the coronavirus lockdown

Huge crowds gathered in Parsons Green, south-west London, last night as temperatures soar amid the coronavirus lockdown

Huge crowds gathered in Parsons Green, south-west London, last night as temperatures soar amid the coronavirus lockdown 

Pictured: Today's weather forecast from the Met Office as temperatures are set to climb even higher this afternoon

Pictured: Today's weather forecast from the Met Office as temperatures are set to climb even higher this afternoon

Pictured: The Met Office's forecast for this afternoon

Pictured: The Met Office's forecast for this afternoon

Pictured: Today’s weather forecast from the Met Office as temperatures are set to climb even higher this afternoon 

People make their way down the steps to the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, today despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed

People make their way down the steps to the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, today despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed

People make their way down the steps to the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, today despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed 

People fill the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, today despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed to the public

People fill the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, today despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed to the public

People fill the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth, today despite Dorset Council announcing that the beach was closed to the public 

Rowers are pictured on the River Thames near Maidenhead in Berkshire as temperatures soar in the south-east of England

Rowers are pictured on the River Thames near Maidenhead in Berkshire as temperatures soar in the south-east of England

Rowers are pictured on the River Thames near Maidenhead in Berkshire as temperatures soar in the south-east of England 

Hundreds have joined the #ReturnToShore campaign, with one saying ‘The RNLI lifeguard service is the only emergency service which did not continue during the pandemic. Why?’

One employee, who has started patrolling on a voluntary basis, said: ‘It feels as though the RNLI bosses don’t have our back. We’re volunteering with minimal equipment and at far greater risk.’  

Beach-goers were crammed together to make room for air ambulances to land at Durdle Door in Dorset yesterday after four people injured themselves jumping off cliffs into the sea.  

The four unidentified jumpers vaulted from the top of the ancient limestone arch, which reaches 200ft at its highest point, and are in critical condition, according to Dorset Police.  

A tombstoner can be seen plummeting towards the sea after vaulting from the top of the ancient limestone arch known as Durdle Door in Dorset

A tombstoner can be seen plummeting towards the sea after vaulting from the top of the ancient limestone arch known as Durdle Door in Dorset

A tombstoner can be seen plummeting towards the sea after vaulting from the top of the ancient limestone arch known as Durdle Door in Dorset

The sun-seekers were crammed into one area yesterday in order to vacate the Dorset beach through the one accessible exit

The sun-seekers were crammed into one area yesterday in order to vacate the Dorset beach through the one accessible exit

The sun-seekers were crammed into one area yesterday in order to vacate the Dorset beach through the one accessible exit 

Images from the scene show a mass of sun-seekers crammed into one area, near the only available exit, as they try to vacate the area as the air ambulance lands.  

Despite initially claiming that only three people were hurt jumping off the famous archway, it emerged last night that the figure is one higher.  

Mark Dowie, the RNLI’s chief executive, wrote an open letter asking the government to restrict beach access before ‘more lives are lost’.

But former Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie says that the RNLI could fun a full £20million lifeguard service from the £124m in crisis funds that it reported in 2018. 

The organisation says that using such funds is not a long-term solution and the group expects a £45million shortfall this year. 

 

Durdle Door remains closed to the public after three people were seriously injured jumping off cliffs into the sea.

Police, the ambulance service, the coastguard and the RNLI attended the Dorset beauty spot on Saturday afternoon.

Videos posted on social media show people climbing and leaping from the arch at the site, which is 200ft high.

Air ambulances landed at the scene and crowds of people were evacuated from the beach and surrounding cliff area.

Dorset Police confirmed that three people had sustained serious injuries and were receiving medical treatment.

That evening, Dorset Council said Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove would be closed ‘until further notice’.

On Sunday morning, the council tweeted that the roads to the popular sites remained closed.

‘You will not be able to visit the beaches there and will be asked to turn around if you try and access the villages,’ the council said.

It said the measure would be reviewed on Monday but urged people to avoid the area ‘for now’.

Dorset Police tweeted: ‘Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove remain closed today along with approach roads to the area. Please do not travel as you will be turned away.’

On Saturday, a post on Poole Police’s Facebook page said the ‘critical incident’ had involved people jumping from the arch of Durdle Door into the sea.

‘The arch of Durdle Door is approximately 200 feet in height. Hitting water from that height, roughly 77mph, can be critical,’ it said.

‘This is further compounded by tides, currents and altering depth of the sea bed. It is NOT an appropriate location for this type of activity.’

Meanwhile, people were slammed for running around naked and causing harassment on a popular quayside, have caused a pub to shutdown.

The rising levsl of anti social behaviour on The Quay in Exeter, Devon, has led to the Prospect Inn closing down its takeaway service.

The pub said: ‘WE ARE DONE. The anti social behaviour on the Quay worsens day by day, but Friday night was the final straw: abuse, harassment, urination and public nudity.’

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