THE behaviour of people who injured themselves jumping off the arch of Durdle Door has been described as "acts of stupidity" by a Dorset MP.

As reported, three people had to be treated at the Purbeck beauty spot on Saturday, sparking a critical incident on the coast in the process

Coastguard, ambulance, lifeboat and police teams rushed to Scratchy Bottom beach on Saturday afternoon.

Two of the casualties had to be airlifted to Southampton Hospital for treatment to serious injuries, while a third was taken to Dorset County Hospital. All of their injuries were sustained by leaping off the 70ft arch into the water.

Crowds watched on from the beach, with reports that some encouraged the behaviour, which is known as tombstoning.

As well as assisting with the medical response, police reportedly had to deal with “alcohol-fuelled minor scuffles” and a small but out of control fire from a barbecue.

South Dorset MP Richard Drax praised the work of all the emergency services although admitted they only had to carry out the rescue due to “acts of stupidity”.

Mr Drax told the Daily Echo: “I have lived in the area, on or off, all my life and I have seen people do this before and I have seen people being hurt. It always amazes me that people go on doing it.

“They also danger those people and those in some cases who have to go and rescue them.

“I would like to pay tribute to all the emergency services that took part, not least the helicopter pilots, for coming to the rescue, as they always do.”

Emergency services were called around 3.30pm on Saturday to multiple incidents at Durdle Door.

The first casualty was pulled from the water by a member of the public and airlifted by an air ambulance, while the second was airlifted by HM Coastguard’s search and rescue helicopter.

A third casualty self-identified and was taken by land ambulance to hospital in Dorchester.

Meanwhile, a woman was found on the high ground above Durdle Door with a suspected broken ankle.

Because of the steepness of the hill, using a stretcher was judged too risky, so she was airlifted to the top of the hill and treated by a land ambulance crew.

Dorset Council closed roads to Lulworth and Durdle Door on Saturday evening on safety grounds and they remained closed yesterday.

However, hundreds of people ignored signs in the roads and filled the site’s cliff-top car park on Sunday.

A council spokesperson confirmed they had been forced to put staff on barriers and turn people away for the rest of the day.

Coastguard teams had to be called out again due to concerns for people climbing on the arch.

The events over the weekend heightened concerns among residents about the large number of visitors flocking to Dorset’s beauty spots.

Mr Drax said: “I share people’s concerns. I know Dorset Council, with whom I and other MPs in Dorset work very closely, is trying to warn those from outside the county not to come because of the threat of the virus and, not least, there is nothing open.

“There is nothing for them to do except sit at the beach, which means you are going to have huge numbers of people all collecting in one point.

“We are relying entirely on people’s common sense and, sadly, in some cases people don’t have it.”