Somerset

Helicopter winches eight people from Somerset cliffs

The eight awaiting rescue
Image caption The group were trapped 7m up the cliff

Five children and three adults had to be rescued by helicopter after scaling cliffs in Somerset to escape the incoming tide.

The group, six from Easton, Bristol, and two from Weston-super-Mare, were at Brean Down, near Burnham-On-Sea, when the rising water forced them to climb.

A car belonging to the Weston couple was later recovered by a tractor after it became swamped by the tide.

They were rescued at about 1945 BST on Saturday.

'Gusting winds'

A rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor in Devon was sent to the scene with two RNLI lifeboats and the Burnham-On-Sea coastguard rescue team.

An RNLI spokesman said some of the group were starting to show signs of panic.

"The tide was still incoming and the waves were fairly steep, with force four winds gusting to six at times."

All eight were winched on board and taken to a nearby field where they were met by the coastguard rescue team and reunited with their families.

It is understood that nobody required hospital treatment.

A Burnham Area Rescue Boat (Barb) crew was also involved in the rescue.

Image caption A tractor was used to later recover the car

Spokesman Mark Newman, who witnessed the rescue, said one of the lifeboat's crew climbed up the rocks to check they were not injured before the RAF crew winched them to safety.

He said: "Two of the group had also parked their car on the beach and this became swamped by the high tide, which was higher than normal."

Swansea Coastguard watch manager David Hughes said anyone going out for a walk along the coast should "always prepare by checking the tide times".

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