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Trapped Woman Dies Under Cave in Swanage


12:55pm 3rd November 2013
(Updated 8:09am 4th November 2013)

Coastguards faced "extreme weather" in their attempt to rescue a woman who died after becoming trapped under a sea cave in Swanage.

Rescuers were called to help the woman and a man who were seen struggling in the water at Tilly Whim Caves near the Anvil Point Lighthouse on Saturday afternoon (2nd November)

The 31 year old man was winched to safety uninjured.

Desperate attempts were made by specialist cliff rescue teams to reach the 30 year old woman who was trapped under the cave at sea level. Entry to the cave was either underwater, or through a narrow blowhole at the top of the cave. But by the time experts reached her she had already died.

Coastguard Watch manager Andrew Jenkins told Wessex FM the sea conditions were "atrocious", and with the light fading, the difficult decision was made to call off attempts to retrieve the woman’s body because it was "too dangerous".

The coastguard said the operation was at "the very edge of our technical ability"

Dorset Police has said: "Despite the best efforts of the rescue team the search was abandoned due to the extreme weather conditions. The female was not located and remains unaccounted for."

Officers continued to liaise with family and continue to work with partner agencies.

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