Two men rescued after 'lucky escape' on cliff edge near Tintagel Castle

Two people have been rescued from a cliff edge after their fishing trip in North Cornwall went horribly wrong.

Polzeath Coastguard Rescue Team deputy station officer Shaun Hawkey said Wednesday night's rescue was a 'time-critical incident' that could 'easily have ended in tragedy'.

"It's a great example of how quickly things can go wrong," he said. "They had decided to do a bit of fishing after work and it could easily have ended in tragedy.

"It could have happened to anyone, they slipped and nearly fell down a cliff. They were clinging on by their fingertips and couldn't move, it was definitely a time-critical incident.

"They were pretty shook up and are extremely lucky it ended this way."

Two coastguard rescue teams and the search and rescue helicopter from Newquay were involved    Picture: Glynnphotographic

Three men, believed to be local, had decided to take part in a bit of night-time fishing at the top of a cliff near Tintagel Castle, unaware of the dangers of the area.

They quickly found themselves in trouble, having slipped part way down the cliff and two became stuck - unable to move up and unable to move down without a major risk of tumbling to the bottom.

Fortunately the third was able to climb back up to the top and raise the alarm, by calling 999 and requesting HM Coastguard.

Polzeath and Boscastle Coastguard Rescue Teams were sent, alongside the search and rescue helicopter from Newquay when it became apparent a lifeboat would be unable to gain access.

The men were winched, one by one, from the cliff and transported to a temporary helicopter landing site at Tintagel Cricket Club.

Shaun added: "It was a very scary moment for three ordinary blokes just looking to have a relaxing evening.

"They weren't being silly but it goes to show that you always have to be on your guard at the coast, anyone can get caught out.

"The one thing I would say - and I think most people don't realise this - you should always wear a lifejacket when fishing. Whether in a boat or on land. But they did the right thing in raising the alarm and calling for help - the outcome would likely have been very different if they hadn't."

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