Two people had to be rescued by helicopter after becoming trapped on the beach near Charmouth yesterday afternoon.

A male and female had been walking along the stretch of beach near St Gabriel's steps east of Charmouth and alerted emergency services after they were unable to find a safe route off the beach. 

The call prompted an emergency response from Dorset Fire and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS), Lyme Regis Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat crew, Coastguard teams from Lyme Regis and Charmouth as well as the Coastguard helicopter from Lee-on-Solent.

READ: People spotted walking under West Bay cliff after rockfall

The lifeboat crew launched at 3.26pm on Sunday, February 11, and arrived on the scene 10 minutes later when they commenced a shoreline search.

The couple were located at 3:40pm but, because of strong southerly winds and heavy waves, it was not possible to rescue them by sea.

The lifeboat crew stood by until DWFRS personnel reached the couple by walking along the water’s edge.

The couple were eventually recovered to the cliff top by the coastguard helicopter.

READ: Coastguard rescue people from mud at Lyme Regis & Charmouth

Lyme Regis volunteer helm Tim Edwards said: "The stretch beach where the couple were walking can be quite treacherous with frequent rock falls and mud slides which restrict the width of beach that can be safely accessed.

"There are also very few safe paths up to the top of the cliff. Because of heavy surf we were unable to get to the walkers from the sea so they had to be lifted out by helicopter."

Dorset Echo: Lyme Regis RNLI Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat 'Spirit of Loch Fyne' at sea.Lyme Regis RNLI Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat 'Spirit of Loch Fyne' at sea. (Image: RNLI)

A spokseperson for DWFRS said: "We were called at 2.23pm on Saturday to assist two people who were stuck about 10m above the beach between Charmouth and Golden Cap.

"Unfortunately, the caller’s phone was out of battery following the 999 call, so it took crews from Charmouth and Dorchester, together with a technical rescue team from Weymouth, until shortly after 4pm to locate the people, who were safe and uninjured.

"It was quickly established that the best way to rescue them was via the coastguard helicopter, due to the rising tide."

A spokesperson from HM Coastguard: "HM Coastguard responded to reports of two people stuck on a cliff in the Charmouth area on Saturday, February, 10.

"Alerted at around 2.30pm, West Bay and Lyme Regis Coastguard Rescue Teams, Lyme Regis RNLI and the coastguard helicopter from Lee-on-Solent were sent to the scene. Casualties were taken to safety by the helicopter."

RNLI advice for coastal walkers is that they should plan their route carefully and make full allowance for weather and tide conditions, and the fact that the beach can narrow where there have been recent rockfalls or mud slides.

Never attempt to climb rockfalls or mud slides as these are generally unstable and very dangerous.