A MAN and woman were rescued after plunging into the water at Weymouth Harbour.

Another woman had also fallen into the water at Custom House Quay on Friday night, but managed to get out without assistance from emergency services.

The drama unfolded amid the installation of safety barriers alongside a section of the harbourside to stop people sitting on the harbour wall.

Firefighters had happened to be passing the scene, at around 9.44pm, and stopped to help the stricken man and woman out of the water.

Reports suggest the three people fell into the water along the section of the harbour between the George Hotel and Quayside Bar & Kitchen.

Currently, there are no safety railings on that stretch of the harbour.

Read more: New railings at Weymouth Harbour

An eyewitness, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "All I saw was the fire engine crew retrieving a woman out of the water, which took about 15 minutes.

Dorset Echo: A view of the section on Custom House Quay where the three people reportedly fell into the waterA view of the section on Custom House Quay where the three people reportedly fell into the water

"An ambulance then arrived and a police car. There did not appear to be any patrols that I could see from the Trinity Road side of the harbour.

"They took two women into the ambulance which stayed for about another 15 minutes.

"It happened on the harbour wall between The George and the Quayside Bar & Kitchen."

Read more: Weymouth reacts to new harbour railings

A spokeswoman from the fire service said: "A crew from Weymouth assisted a man and a woman from the water at Custom House Quay on Friday night – they were passing the scene when they saw what had happened, and stopped to help.

"A second woman had also gone into the water but had self-rescued."

A spokeswoman from Dorset Police said: "Dorset Police received a report at 9.44pm on Friday from the fire service that two people were in the water at Weymouth harbour near to Maiden Street.

"The two people were out of the water when officers arrived and were left in the care of the ambulance service."

The installation of railings along the harbour has been met with some criticism by locals and town councillors, who have described them as 'ghastly' and questioned the lack of consultation before they were put in place.

But Dorset Council has defended the project and said it was acting on advice from the Health and Safety Executive as the town prepared for an influx of summer visitors.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment at Dorset Council, said: "Given the likelihood of crowds (high footfall) in the area this summer, we took the decision to erect safety barriers at specific points of the harbour identified to be at higher risk to help prevent people falling in."

Dorset Echo: The safety barriers being installed along Custom House QuayThe safety barriers being installed along Custom House Quay