COASTGUARDS have hit out at a person who verbally abused them after a life and death rescue operation.

The team from Watchet rushed to a medical emergency on Dunster beach on Sunday afternoon after an elderly woman sustained a serious hip injury following a fall.

The injured woman had to be stretchered off the beach immediately due to the fast flooding tide.

Paramedics from South West Ambulance Service arrived on the scene and administered pain relief.

A coastguard spokesman said: "With our team at the scene together with the ambulance crew we carried the casualty off of the beach and into the ambulance.

"This incident was time critical due to the flooding tide and the conditions at the time which included a strong and chilly onshore wind.

"We wish the lady well and a speedy recovery.

"On the return of some of the team back to our station at Watchet on the Esplanade it was disappointing that a member of the local community decided to give them verbal abuse, challenging the valuable work that volunteers within the Coastguard service undertake."