This is the moment beachgoers formed a huge human chain to carry two people to safety in a dramatic rescue at Durdle Door.
A swimmer had been in the water at the foot of the Dorset landmark when he began battling the rising tide.
He attempted to swim back to shore but was stopped by 20 mph winds and huge waves rising well over his head.
The man, believed to be in his 30s, began frantically waving and calling for help to the sun-seekers on the pebbly beach.
A swimmer (circled in red) had been in the water at the foot of the Dorset landmark when he began to battle the rising tide
After initially thinking he was waving, about 30 people rushed to the water and folded their arms.
Their attempts were not aided by a huge mass of frothy white foam created by the enormous waves crashing onto the shore.
Before finally making it to the stricken swimmer, rescuers attempted to throw him a bodyboard and lifeline.
In one particularly dramatic moment, a beachgoer tried to run to the man himself, but he too was blown away by the wind.
After a struggle lasting about two minutes, the members of the chain were able to reach both victims and bring them safely back to the beach.
The people of Durdle Door formed a human chain to rescue the two men from the sea. Pictures show the crowd organizing to carry out the rescue safely
Eyewitness Emily Foote, 27, a teacher from Bridport, said: “We got there around 9am and this guy has been in and out of the water a number of times throughout the morning.
“He seemed to know what he was doing and was probably about 50 feet away for the most part.
“Towards noon the wind picked up and that’s when he started fighting.
“He managed to get closer and was pretty much where the waves were breaking but he couldn’t go back.
“Every once in a while there would just be an unusual surge that prevented him from coming back and he would end up just frantically waving for help.
“Many people just sprinted to the sea and formed this chain, but they were also swept by the waves.
“The foam was like a washing machine and at one point I thought we were going to end up with 10 victims in the sea instead of just one.”
She added: “They tried to throw things at him but they kept getting blown back and one guy even tried to run straight to him with a buoyancy aid on a string.
“He ended up going under the water himself and had to be rescued, as did the swimmer.
“People kept getting thrown back and in the end there were probably about 30 people trying to help.
Around a hundred people gathered to join the human chain. The entire beach applauded as the two men were safely pulled out of the water
Huge waves crashed onto the beach, towering over people trying to go deep to rescue those in need of help after being trapped by strong tides
“With each try they got a little bit closer and were finally able to reach him.
“The whole beach applauded when the two men came back and they didn’t need any help from paramedics or anything.
“I’ve never seen the beach like this and full credit goes to everyone who risked their own lives to save the swimmer.”
Jeanette Warren, from Portsmouth, Hants, said: “He swam confidently for some time until a terrible squall came and literally swept him that far out.
“He was actually very good, stayed calm and then gave it his all to go with the waves.
“What was a small crowd quickly became a very large crowd and the people on land began to realize that he was in need.
“They formed a huge human chain and someone had a lifeguard.
‘They passed it on and threw it at him. It was certainly a nerve-wracking and unsettling scene to watch.
“The cheering when everyone was safely ashore was a total relief.”
Holidaymaker Jennie Bell, from Halifax, West Yorks, said: “There were some brilliant people on the shore shouting at this person in the sea: ‘Now swim with that wave'”.
“Next thing we know, there was this line of people on the beach stretching as far out into the sea as they could trying to throw bodyboards at the swimmer.
“It was nice when they managed to save him because the whole beach got up and clapped and it was amazing.”
Another witness, who asked not to be named, told MailOnline: “It was very scary to watch, I called emergency services along with many others.
“He was so lucky to make it back and survive because I think he was stuck out there for a good 20 minutes. The people were amazing and formed a chain to pull him and the other guy helping him out.
“He was eventually saved and everyone applauded. Looking exhausted, he lay down with some first responders who helped him until paramedics arrived.
“From what I’ve heard I’m pretty sure the guy was Nepalese and he was with his family. It took the paramedics about 30 minutes to arrive and after a routine check they all left together (the guy seemed fine and able to walk).’
The Coast Guard issued a safety alert following the incident yesterday afternoon, urging people not to swim in the sea at the spot where there have been several deaths in recent years.
Two months ago, a man in his 20s drowned after going missing near the 200-foot arch.
In 2018, five-year-old Rose Carter was also killed there after being swept 30 feet away by strong gusts of wind.
A Lulworth Coastguard spokesman said: “We were delighted to hear that the rescuer and victim were both recovered and able to walk away.
“With recent large waves and spring tides we strongly advise against swimming and playing in the surf, particularly on exposed beaches such as Durdle Door.
“The suction is very strong and will easily knock you off your feet.”