A WOMAN broke both legs while 'tombstoning' on the Jurassic coast - just days after a warning by the coastguard.

In a statement, coastguard officers said the young woman had jumped ten feet into water "which turned out to be much shallower than first imagined" and landed awkwardly on her knees.

The woman also suffered cuts and jarred her body in the process, leading to fears she had injured her spine during the incident, which happened at Winspit, near Worth Matravers.

An off duty doctor who was in the area was able to help coastguard teams from Swanage and St Albans check for signs of a spinal injury. "Thankfully none were present", a spokesman for Swanage Coastguard said.

"The lady was made comfortable on the stretcher while we waited for an ambulance. However on a sunny Saturday in Dorset it's not always easy to get one in a hurry".

In the end the team requested a Coastguard helicopter.

"An ambulance would require the lady to be stretchered up a steep and tricky path up to the quarry, and with no pain relief available the team wasn't content to do this", the spokesman added.

Swanage Lifeboat was later called upon to deliver Entonox - a pain relieving 'gas and air' mixture - to provide relief until the helicopter arrived.

"Once the winchman paramedic had done some checks on the lady she was prepared for the lift, and the team helped stop the stretcher spinning in mid air", the spokesman said.

"We wish her a speedy recovery and send our thanks to a couple who offered help and to the off duty doctor who made himself available."

The incident follows a warning by duty controller for HM Coastguard James Instance.

As reported in Saturday's Echo, two men jumping off Durdle Door led to the coastguard being called out - amid a rise in tombstoning during recent weeks.

“Jumping from piers, cliffs, rocks or other structures into the sea can be very dangerous", James Instance said.

Conditions can change quickly... What was a deep pool at lunchtime might be a shallow puddle by teatime.

"You just don’t know what hazards may be lurking under the surface until you are hurt or worse."


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e: ellie.maslin@dorsetecho.co.uk

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