Desperately clinging on, this is the dramatic moment a Lancashire woman cheated death on a perilous cliff face just feet from the sea.
Stacey Hayes’ frantic screams could be heard up to 300 yards away across the nearby beach as she clung on “by her fingernails” to stop herself falling into the water.
Ms Hayes, who is from Leyland, was visiting Cornwall when she became cut off by the tide between Green Bay and Porthcurno Beach.
Standing just a foot from the rising waters, her desperate screams were heard by a volunteer coastguard worker Dave Jackson, who works at the open air Minack Theatre nearby. He immediately set a huge rescue operation in motion.
He called in coastguards and Ms Hayes was eventually winched to safety by a helicopter from the Royal Naval Air Service.
Mr Jackson, 62, who has worked as a volunteer with the Lands End Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team for 42 years, said: “I was taking my lunch break and members of staff came up to me and said, ‘You’d better come and take a look at this, I think someone’s in trouble’.
“I looked across the bay and I could see this girl literally hanging on by her fingernails, with the waves crashing around her.
“You could hear her screaming, you could hear the terror in her voice.
“I could see her just above the waterline and I thought, ‘I’ve got to do something quickly.’
“I called Falmouth Coastguard and asked for a launch of rescue helicopter 193 Culdrose.
The incident unfolded at 2.18pm on Good Friday.
Ms Hayes was taken straight to Treslike Hospital in Truro and miraculously escaped serious injury
“She was very lucky,” added Mr Jackson. “If she had gone into the sea it could have been a different outcome. It took a minute for the lifeboat and helicopter to come round. I was very relieved to see them arrive.
“To actually see somebody and, for those few minutes, you are unable to do anything, you are just praying and saying hang on, don’t let go.”
As the lifeboat and helicopter made their way to the scene, a second person managed to climb up the cliff and pull Miss Hayes around 20ft up to a ledge. Both were wynched to safety by the helicopter.
Three other holidaymakers, including Miss Hayes’s boyfriend Adam Neal, had been rescued by an RNLI boat moments earlier after they were effectively cut off by the tide.
The RNLI today said the incident could have ended in tragedy.
Sennen Cove RNLI Coxswain Terry George said: “The lifeboat arrived on scene 12 minutes after launch, at the same time as a rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose. Two people could be seen on a cliff ledge, a few feet above the water - these people were recovered by the helicopter, with the lady being flown to Treliske Hospital, Truro as a precaution as she had been washed in to the sea.
“Three people, including the lady`s boyfriend, were effectively cut off by the tide and were recovered from the beach in tricky conditions by the lifeboat`s `Y` boat. These people were brought back to Sennen Cove by the lifeboat. The gentleman had sustained some minor injuries having jumped into the sea to assist his girlfriend.”
He said it was “a happy ending to what could have been a tragic incident.”