A woman had to be hauled to safety when the car she was driving crashed through railings and plunged 30ft onto a North East beach.
Rescuers were called to Whitley Bay in North Tyneside, when the 22-year-old’s car went through the barriers and rolled down the rocks onto the beach as the tide began to come in.
The Peugeot 106 came to a halt on its roof on the beach near to St Mary’s Lighthouse, and firefighters had to pull the driver to safety.
She taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary suffering from suspected spinal and pelvis injuries. Her condition is not thought to be life-threatening.
Volunteers from the Tynemouth Life Brigade said they were forced to act quickly because of the incoming tide.
Captain Peter Lilley, who took part in the rescue, said: “We had a window of about 45 minutes to get her out and when we had finished the tide was right up to the car tyres.
“If the conditions had been any more serious the rescue could have got really difficult. We couldn’t stop the tide.
“We didn’t have time to recover the car so we had to tie it to some railings until the tide went back out.”
Emergency services, including the Blyth Coastguard Rescue Team and the specialist paramedics from the North East Ambulance Service’s HART Team, were called to Whitley Bay beach at around 12.20am yesterday.
Around eight firefighters from Tynemouth forced the door of the car open to get the woman out before carrying her up the cliffs to the car park.
She was then taken to hospital by ambulance for treatment to her injuries.
Crews then secured the car as waves buffeted the beach. The vehicle was recovered later yesterday.
Tyres marks could been seen on grass near to where the accident took place and police tape surrounded the broken barriers.
Police said they had launched an investigation into the cause of the accident.
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “At around 12.21 in the early hours of today police received reports that a car had gone off the service road at St Mary’s Lighthouse, in Whitley Bay.
“The car crashed through metal railings onto the beach below.
“The vehicle landed on its roof and the single occupant of the vehicle was trapped and released by the fire service.
“The woman was taken to the RVI with non life-threatening injuries.
“Officers are making inquiries into the incident and anybody with information should call 101.”