A CLIFF jumper who broke his ribs after plunging 200ft from Durdle Door arch into the water below today spoke of the traumatic experience - as he thanked the hero paddle-boarder who saved his life.

Ervin Aliaj was one of a number of people 'tombstoning' from the arch during a recent heatwave, which brought thousands of tourists to the beauty spot.

Shocked onlookers watched him land in the water on his side, before being pulled to safety by Michael Wiley, who had spotted the dangers of people jumping from the arch and paddled out to position himself underneath it to help anyone who had a bad fall.

Michael dragged 20-year-old Ervin to the beach where he managed to stand up and walk a few steps before collapsing and being taken to Dorset County Hospital in an ambulance for treatment.

Ervin, who is originally from Albania but now living in London, said: "I jumped off the cliff and hit the water quite bad. I felt paralysed. Mike saved me and got me out of there. I got in the ambulance and was taken to hospital where I went straight to have an X-ray to see if I had broken my back, which luckily I hadn't.

"My ribs had been broken from the impact of hitting the water. Doctors said I am really lucky to be able to walk because if I had landed on my back I would have broken it.

"I feel so grateful towards Mike. He saved my life."

Student Ervin spent three days in hospital recovering from his injuries. Whilst he was there he saw Michael's name on the news and tracked him down on social media so he could thank him personally.

Michael, who owns a window cleaning business in Southampton, said: "It was really nice of him to reach out to me. I appreciated him making the effort and I'm glad he is okay."

Michael also saved a second jumper who sank to the seabed after landing on his back.

The dangerous 'tombstoning' trend has continued at Durdle Door since the incident, which sent Ervin and two other men to hospital at the end of May. Michael, 31, is disappointed to hear that people are still acting recklessly.

He said: "When people jump off the top of the arch without any protection it can be really dangerous. If something goes wrong then they are at a high risk of drowning so unless someone is there to help them there is going to be a fatality.

"I like adrenaline sports but if you're going to do them safely then you have to know your limitations."