Durdle Door incident: Thousands of sunbathers evacuated from Dorset Beach after three injured jumping off cliffs told to self-isolate

Furious Britons are demanding that the thousands of sunbathers evacuated en masse from a beach on the Jurassic coast self-isolate amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Extraordinary scenes branded “absolute carnage” showed thousands of beachgoers crammed in two pens on Durdle Door, near Lulworth, Dorset, as two air ambulances landed on Saturday afternoon.

Three people were seriously injured after jumping into the sea from cliffs at the popular tourist spot.

Pictures earlier in the day had shown streams of tourists pouring down narrow coastal paths onto the small cove.

It came as deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam urged Brits not to "tear the pants out of it" ahead of the next phase of lockdown easing from Monday.

Dorset Police confirmed the beach remained shut on Sunday and said anyone attempting to reach it would be "turned away".

The force was called at 3.43pm on Saturday to a report of concern for the safety of people jumping off the famous Durdle Door arch, which is about 200ft high.

Officers raced to the scene along with the ambulance service, HM Coastguard and the RNLI and declared it closed as a mass evacuation began at 5pm.

Three people sustained serious injuries and their current condition is not yet known, Dorset Constabulary said.

Lulworth Coastguard said that four people had been "encouraged by crowds on the beach" to jump from the 200ft rock arch, leaving one casualty "very unwell" and with serious injuries.

The coastguard rescuers added: "An afternoon none of our team will forget in a hurry... Upsetting scenes like we and many others witnessed yesterday illustrate how very dangerous tombstoning is. We couldn’t discourage it enough."

Lulworth Coarguard station said five ambulance crews were on site and that police had to deal with "alcohol fuelled minor scuffles" and a "small but out of control fire from a BBQ".

But the scenes sparked a furious reaction online, with people branding it “shambolic” and “insanity”.

Piers Morgan raged: “The beach at Durdle Door, Dorset, today. Fools throwing themselves off the cliffs into the sea (3 badly hurt) air ambulances, 100s of people packed together like sardines. Total insanity.”

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