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CLIFFHANGERS; Mum and four kids in rescue drama.

A TERRIFIED mum and her little son were plucked from a treacherous cliff by helicopter after getting cut off by the tide.

Meanwhile her other son and two girls on a seaside walk with them were guided to safety by coastguards.

The drama began as holidaymaker Sue Day, 30, and sons Nicholas, 13, and Martin, eight, strolled along the beach with their pals, twins Nicola and Laura Hodd, 14.

When they realised the tide was coming in they tried desperately to climb the crumbling 160ft cliffs. But just 40ft up they got stuck on a ledge when their footholds gave way.

A member of the public spotted their frantic waving and alerted coastguards.

They scrambled the helicopter and sent a 10-man rescue team to the scene near Lyme Regis in Dorset.

A lifeboat stood by offshore as Sue and little Martin were winched up by the helicopter crew.

A coastguard led the other children to safety down the cliff and along a sea wall.

Last night the relieved five were back home in Hastings, East Sussex, shaken by the ordeal but unharmed.

"They were lucky to be spotted and we were able to get them off quickly," said Portland coastguard watch manager Richard Egan.

"We've had people die on those cliffs. It's a dangerous piece of cliff and it's falling off all the time."

And he issued a warning to holidaymakers to beware of the dangers of exploring small coves on the rocky coastline.

Coastguards are worried that tides will catch more tourists off guard and cut them off before they can reach safety.

"They can be very dangerous for people not familiar with the fast moving tides," said Mr Egan.
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Author:Miller, Ian
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 30, 1999
Words:281
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