THREE people had to be winched to safety after becoming trapped by the incoming tide at Seaham today.
Seaham Coastguard received a call just after 1.30pm to say five people had become trapped at the foot of cliffs close to the B1287, between Seaham and Ryhope.
With support from Sunderland colleagues, they recovered two women, aged 26 and 27, and a 31-year-old man.
All three received treatment from paramedics for hypothermia, but declined the chance to go to hospital.
Two other men had scrambled to safety by the time the coastguard team arrived.
Coastguard spokesman Neil Mearns said: “We would urge members of the public going near cliffs or other inaccessible places to be aware of the time of incoming tides, to prevent the possibility of being cut off.”