Emergency services have been praised after a late night rescue which saw a person airlifted to safety after their boat crashed onto rocks in Weymouth.

A major operation was launched after a person hit their head and blacked out on board a boat, causing it to run aground on Friday night.

Emergency services, including the coastguard helicopter, quickly arrived on scene working against the windy conditions.

Wyke Coastguard Rescue was called to reports of a boat aground with an injured casualty on board near Whitehead Drive in Weymouth.

Weymouth lifeboat, paramedics and Portland Bill Coastguard Rescue were also called to the scene due to the ‘serious nature’ of the incident.

A spokesman for Wyke Coastguard said the person had hit their head on the boat during rough seas and reportedly blacked out, which resulted in the vessel running aground and the alarm being raised.

On arrival, two coastguards climbed aboard to help the casualty and found two dogs were also aboard the boat.

The spokesman said: “The heavy sea state made it near impossible to get a tow line onto the vessel to try and remove it. As the vessel was being battered by the heavy seas, extracting the casualty safely via stretcher was also deemed far too risky.”

Rescue helicopter 175 was called to the scene, with the dogs evacuated by coastguards in the meantime.

A paramedic was winched onto the boat to help the casualty, who was then airlifted to the nearby Rodwell Trail footpath and left in the care of the ambulance team.

“With all people and animals safely ashore, all remaining resources were allowed to stand down,” the spokesman said.

Residents living nearby watched eagerly as emergency services worked through the darkness.

Alison Chandler from Weymouth said she heard people talking and could see flashing lights outside her window.

She said: “The weather was howling and the helicopter flew above our house at some point. 

“They (the emergency services) were doing a job, you don’t know what they’re up against.”

“I’ve since read that someone hurt their head.”

She added: “The boat is still there today, it’s been there for quite a while.”

A resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I happened to look outside the window and saw emergency services coming along the Rodwell.

“There was also a helicopter flying around looking for someone or something - It was out there for ages.”

He added: “The conditions must have made things very difficult for them. I’ve not known anything like it, the force of the wind was incredible.”

Paul Isitt from Weymouth said: “The helicopter winched someone out and the boat washed up on the shore. I believe the man in command of the boat was injured in the conditions and that caused the boat to be washed ashore and they had to be rescued.”

He praised the response of the emergency services, and said: “They were on the scene about an hour before it was done and dusted.”