Police officers, the force helicopter and both Redcar RNLI’s lifeboats were called at about 10.40pm to assist.
Guided by the helicopter’s searchlight, the lifeboat was run in towards the water’s edge and two crew members put ashore, who helped the family into life jackets. The family, who were of Polish origin and from Darlington, were then taken to Saltburn beach, where an ambulance was standing by.
Dave Cocks, Redcar RNLI’s deputy launching authority, said: “We’re a bit puzzled why they waited so long before calling for help. They were rescued from is a notorious cut-off point. We would urge people to make careful note of the time of high tide before attempting to walk round the bottom of Huntcliff. They were lucky they were able to get a mobile phone signal so close to the cliffs, otherwise their predicament could have been much worse. They were suffering from mild hypothermia. If they had waited until daylight, they may well have been severely affected by the cold.”
Mr Cocks explained that as a general rule of thumb, people will be cut off at Huntcliff at least two hours before high tide and two hours after, and sometimes even longer.