Monday, January 15, 2007
A dramatic air sea rescue was launched after four young girls were trapped on cliffs near Skinningrove as darkness fell. The girls - aged 12 and 13, from the Brotton and Saltburn areas - were rescued in an operation involving two helicopters, police and coastguard teams. One of the girls suffered an asthma attack and was stranded in a precarious position just below the cliff summit. Three other girls were stranded lower down the cliff face. All attend Saltburn's Huntcliff School. After they sent a 999 call at about 4.30pm yesterday, the Cleveland Police air support unit was launched from Durham Tees Valley Airport and a Sea King search and rescue helicopter was scrambled from RAF Leconfield in Lincolnshire. All four were winched off and taken to James Cook University Hospital. A coastguard spokesman said it was unclear how the girls had come to be on the cliff in fading light. The police helicopter used its search light to illuminate the scene while one of the coastguard team inched down onto the ledge where the stricken girl was standing. The Sea King then used its powerful search light as it carried out the operation to winch all the girls to safety.