Dorset coastguards injured by 'freak wave' after trying to stop people watching storm

storm in Chiswell 2014 stock image credit PA images
Chiswell during stormy weather in 2014. Credit: PA images

Three coastguards were injured by a 'freak wave' after trying to stop people watching the incoming storm.

HM Coastguard was called to Chiswell in Dorset on Saturday 30 January to stop people from getting too close to the waves which were causing water and debris to run into the streets.

During the operation, one coastguard was seriously injured when all three were knocked off their feet by a huge wave.

One Devon coastguard who was called to the scene after the incident was Drew Parkinson, the area commander for South Devon and South-East Cornwall Coastline.

He posted online afterwards to urge people not to gather during dangerous condition to take photos.

He said: "Last night (Saturday 30 January) I attended an incident at Chiswell, Portland where three coastguards were injured, one seriously, after a freak wave washed them off their feet as they attempted to clear the sea wall of people watching the seas."Please don’t put yourself, and us, at risk for a photo."

According to Drew, the coastguard who was seriously injured will have 'potential long-lasting effects' saying it will be 'a long and slow road to recovery'.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard told the Dorset Echo: "We received a 999 call at 8.10pm yesterday reporting a number of people on the sea wall watching an incoming storm at Chisel on the Isle of Portland."The Portland Bill Coastguard Rescue Team attended to provide safety advice and to usher people from the area."While at the scene three members of the coastguard team were injured due to being hit by a large freak wave. One of these was seriously injured and was taken to hospital by the South West Ambulance Service for treatment."We would urge people to think carefully about the risks they take and be extremely careful during bad weather – piers, rocks, harbours and the water’s edge are not safe places to be."If you see anyone in trouble call 999 and ask for the coastguard."

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