Woman Dies In Wheelchair Water Plunge

Woman Dies In Wheelchair Water Plunge

A severely disabled woman has died after falling into deep water from a well-known harbour wall while strapped in her electric wheelchair.

The 20-year-old was on the Cobb in Lyme Regis, Dorset, waiting to take a charter boat cruise when the accident happened.

It took place around 12:45pm on Friday on the 19th century wall, which featured in the 1981 film The French Lieutenant's Woman, starring Meryl Streep.

The unnamed victim, who had been on holiday with her family, sank to the bottom of the three-metre-deep harbour in the wheelchair.

Her relatives, the boat skipper and RNLI personnel from the nearby lifeboat station dived in and managed to free her, taking her unconscious to the surface.

The victim, who was from Solihull in the West Midlands, was flown by air ambulance to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester but later died.

Officers said they have launched an investigation into the death and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

A police spokesman said: "They (the victim and her family) were on holiday in Lyme Regis and were waiting to go on a charter boat trip when tragically the wheelchair fell into deep water.

"Rescue efforts were made by the family, the boat skipper and later by emergency services, including coastguards, lifeboat and police.

"After considerable difficulty she was able to be freed."

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