Local lifeguards raised the alarm for the two adults and three young children who were trapped between Castlerock and Downhill beaches on Northern Ireland’s North Coast, and the inshore lifeboat set off to their rescue just after 5pm.
The lifeboat crew found the family some 10 feet up a cliff, close to the railway line — prompting the decision to evacuate them carefully down the cliff to shore.
Forming a human chain, the RNLI crew and a lifeguard were able to take all five family members down to the lifeboat and then onwards to the safety of the beach.
Commenting after the callout, lifeboat operations manager Keith Gilmore said: “This has been a very busy summer for both our volunteer lifeboat crew and the lifeguards on all our beaches in the area, and this is another example how we have worked very closely together to carry out a successful rescue.
“Of course, we have had the additional issue of having to wear PPE for the protection of the public and the crew, but it is something we are becoming used to wearing.
“The RNLI lifeguards and our crew worked well today in this joint rescue and the hope the family are recovering from their ordeal.”