Major incident declared after thousands flock to Bournemouth beaches

Credit: PA Images

A major incident has been declared along beaches in Bournemouth after thousands of people flocked to the south coast during what is believed to be the hottest June day on record.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council said services were "completely overstretched" as huge numbers of visitors defied advice to stay away.

Dorset Police urged people to stay away from the area adding: "We are still in a public health crisis and such a significant volume of people heading to one area places a further strain on emergency services resources."

BCP Council issued 558 parking enforcement fines, the highest on record, and responded to many reports of cars parking and causing an obstruction.

Council Leader Vikki Slade said: “We are absolutely appalled at the scenes witnessed on our beaches, particularly at Bournemouth and Sandbanks, in the last 24-48 hours. The irresponsible behaviour and actions of so many people is just shocking and our services are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe."

  • Watch: Conservative MP for Bournemouth East, Tobias Ellwood, says behaviour witnessed on the beaches could risk another coronavirus peak

Pictures on social media this morning showed littered strewn across Bournemouth beach after thousands had descended there yesterday.

Additional police patrols have now been brought in, security put in place to protect refuse crews and additional parking enforcement implemented to support the management of car parks and ticketing.

Credit: Matt Pinner

Meanwhile a woman has died at a beach in Worthing in Sussex.

Ambulance staff and police were called to a "serious incident" on Worthing seafront at about midday.

The air ambulance was seen landing and taking off from the beach as emergency services responded to the incident.

Despite the best efforts of people trying to save her life, the woman died at the scene.

It comes as the UK experiences a heatwave, with temperatures hitting 28C (82.4F) in Worthing.

A spokesman for the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) said: "Sadly, despite the efforts of everyone at the scene a woman has sadly died."

The woman is believed to be in her 50s.

While the cause of death remains unclear, Sussex Police said she is reported to have suffered a "medical episode".

Their spokesman added: "Our thoughts are with her loved ones at this difficult time."

The pebbled beaches of the seaside town have been a popular destination for those seeking some early summer sun as lockdown restrictions have eased.