A TERRIFIED couple cut off by the tide on a trip to the East Coast were plucked to safety from 12ft waves in a dramatic rescue.
They say their lives and their two dogs were saved by the courageous actions of Hornsea Inshore Rescue team.
The couple, who declined to have their names published, had to make their way home to Doncaster in borrowed thermal suits after they ended up chest-deep in the rising tide before they were pulled to safety.
The dramatic life-saving rescue took place as a family fun day organised by Hornsea Inshore Rescue drew to a close.
Coxswain Neville Metcalf said it was “definitely the toughest rescue since I’ve been a member of the team”.
The crew of HIR were called out at approximately 3.30pm on Sunday by the Coastguard when a young couple and their two dogs who had been walking along the beach towards Mappleton found themselves cut off by a rapidly rising, rough sea and dialled 999 on their mobile phone.
They were concerned that reception was poor, but managed to communicate their approximate position and situation to the Coastguard.
Inshore Rescue lifeboat Emily Laura was launched within five minutes along with the jet bike, which is able to go closer into the cliffs than a lifeboat.
The jet bike, manned by Coxswain Ashley Evans and crew member Harrison Gill, sped south close to the cliffs in order to locate the couple.
Ashley said: “We were looking straight into the sun so it was not easy to see them, but this is something we have been trained specifically to do, and we were very relieved when Coxswain Dave Pick on our lifeboat located them, as the sea was rough and crashing up the cliffs to about 12ft.”
With the boat getting as near in as possible, three crew members were able to swim to the cliffs, reassure the couple and take them and their dogs to safety.
First off were the family’s two dogs, a Labrador called Oscar and a spaniel, Indie.
The young couple, who were visiting from Doncaster for the day, were already chest deep in water when the rescue operation started.
The woman was in acute distress and had to be handled firmly by inshore rescue crew members onto the jet bike, which came close into the cliff and then ferried her to the lifeboat.
She was suffering from cold and shock.The young man was also transferred to the lifeboat by the jet bike.
Back on shore at the new HIR boathouse they were taken into the drying room to get warm and dry.
They were given mugs of tea.
An ambulance crew arrived to check the couple over, before they eventually went home wearing thermal suits they had borrowed from Hornsea Rescue.
The young man said: “The crew were absolutely fantastic.
“Hornsea Inshore Rescue definitely saved our lives.”
HIR chairwoman Sue Hickson-Marsay said: “I am just so proud of all our crew who dealt with this really difficult rescue so skilfully.
“This was a very problematic rescue, involving two dogs who just wanted to swim back to their owners on the cliff but were fortunately very nice-natured, and a young lady who was extremely distressed and had to be handled with great care and consideration in an extreme emergency situation.”
“I really can’t praise all our crew enough.”