A MAN has died in hospital after collapsing on Lyme Regis beach yesterday.

The elderly man was airlifted to hospital yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, July 23, but later died in hospital.

A spokesman for the Coroner's Office this morning, Thursday, said: "We have had a report from the hospital that the person has sadly passed away. The coroner will be investigating the circumstances around the death."

The incident happened just before 4pm on Wednesday during the town’s busy Lifeboat Week.

The man, believed to be a holidaymaker, was spotted in difficulties in the shallow water on main beach.

Hundreds of people were cleared from the beach to allow the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance to land.

A spokesperson for South West Ambulance Service said the elderly man was brought back to shore after getting into difficulties.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

A Swedish couple were among the first to help him.

Gunilla Emneby said she heard someone shouting for help trying to drag a man out of the water.

She and husband Alan hurried to help pull the man out of the sea.

Mrs Emneby said: “There were two doctors and two nurses on the beach who rushed to help and started CPR.

“I went to get blankets to put under his head and just helped the doctors with whatever they wanted.

“Then the lifeguard came and he had all the equipment, an oxygen mask and defibrillator.

“The ambulance took about a quarter of an hour to get here but it felt longer.

“Then the helicopter arrived.”

She said it appeared as if the man, who she thought was in his mid 70s, had swallowed a lot of water.

She said everybody was very professional and everything that could be done was done.

She said the coastguard officers were comforting the man’s wife and daughter, who were also on the scene.

She added: “They didn’t sound like they were local, their accent was maybe Russian or Polish.”

The couple, who also came to Lyme for Lifeboat Week last year, said it was a very shocking incident.

“It is not something you expect to see on such a lovely day,” said Mrs Emneby.

Mr Emneby added: “He got all the help he possibly could. Everybody worked very hard on him.”

The casualty was taken to Dorset County Hospital.