A couple who got lost in the dark and became stranded on rocks, cut off in a remote location sparked a large emergency response.

Coastguard teams were scrambled last night to help find the pair stranded on the Purbeck coast in the pitch black and as temperatures plummeted.

The area the couple got lost in was described by rescuers as a ‘very remote and inhospitable part of the coastline’.

In a rescue mission that lasted more than three hours, a lifeboat had to be called in to pluck the pair to safety because of the inaccessible position.

Rescuers had difficulty finding the couple at first as the pair were unsure of their position.

Kimmeridge Coastguard team were called at 8.08pm to go to Pondfield, Worbarrow Bay after Solent Coastguard received a phone call from two people stuck on rocks.

The couple had called 999 for help and reported they were in between a cliff and sea but couldn’t give an exact location.

Lulworth Coastguard Rescue Team was also called to help and on arrival, two search teams went to find the couple.

With nothing found around Pondfield during a shoreline search, one of the teams made the steep climb up to Worbarrow Tout to get a better vantage point. With Solent Coastguard in contact with the pair, they were told to wave a light towards the coastguard team who were also shining torches.

A spokesman for Kimmeridge Coastguard Team said: “It soon became apparent the two people were on rocks just to the east of Pondfield in the Gad Cliff area.

“As the eastern point of Pondfield is always under water and impossible to access the casualties' position without a few hours walk across difficult rocky terrain via Kimmeridge, the only other options were by a difficult technical cliff rescue due to the position they were in, a shoreline extraction by lifeboat or helicopter winch.

“Weymouth lifeboat were paged and after guidance over radio by the coastguard team were steered towards the casualties. On arrival, Weymouth ALB launched its small inflatable Y boat and were able to extract the casualties, returning them to awaiting coastguards on the beach at Worbarrow.

“With no medical assistance required, the casualties were able to make their journey back home with all assets returning back to station and released from scene just before midnight.”