A mother and her two children were rescued after becoming stranded at a North East beauty spot.
The family were cut off by the tide at St Mary’s Island, in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, at around 4pm on Sunday.
Emergency crews said the causeway was likely to be covered for another four hours, and with the onset of darkness and cold and blustery weather conditions, it was felt they should be helped back to the mainland.
A team from Cullercoats RNLI and the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade were sent to the scene.
The woman, aged in her 40s, her 12-year-old son and six-year-old daughter were taken aboard a lifeboat and brought to safety. A spokesman from Cullercoats RNLI said: “We received the call at around 4pm and we were told that a mother and her two children had been stranded on St Mary’s Island.
“Because the weather conditions were bad and it was getting dark, we decided to go and take them off the island for their welfare. It was going to rain and the wind was getting strong.
“They were taken on board a lifeboat and brought back to safe land. Otherwise they would have been stuck there for at least four hours in the cold and dark, which would have been detrimental, especially for the children.
“All three of them were checked and were all right.
“We would like to urge members of the public to check tide times before crossing the causeway. If it is getting dark and the weather is bad, people should think about whether it is necessary to cross over.”
The Tynemouth life brigade is also re-iterating the safety message.
Captain Peter Lilley said: “The coastguard decided to task rescue resources to the incident in order to prevent the family coming to any further harm.
“Brigade members arrived on scene within minutes and kept a visual on the family until the lifeboat arrived.
“Once on scene, they were quickly put aboard the lifeboat, which then brought them back to the mainland and landed them on a small beach just to the north of the causeway.
“Here they were met by brigade members and officers from Northumbria Police who jointly issued them with information on how to find out the safe crossing times.
“The family, who were cold but otherwise unhurt, apologised for the inconvenience they had caused and thanked the rescuers for helping them.”