Coastguard's Christmas call to steer clear of cliff dangers
A rescue team is urging people to "think twice" if they head to the coast after a drink this Christmas and New Year.
Seaham's Coastguard officers have issued a plea as they pledged to be on hand should anyone get into trouble during the next fortnight.
A spokesman for the team said: "It's coming to that time of year again, and many families make full use of our beautiful coastlines over the festive period.
"In between the Christmas cheer and never ending buffet food and roast dinners, the beach becomes a focal point to walk off the excess food and wine.
"The beach is as safe a place as any, but just like anywhere else you should always be alert to any dangers.
"If you have been indulging in the Christmas mulled wine and a splash of eggnog it can lead to making a few questionable decisions.
"Climbing up cliffs, jumping off rocks and even entering the water are all things that happen around the coast after people have had a couple of drinks.
"So stay safe, if you have been drinking think twice about your actions, don't see in New Year in hospital or worse.
"Accidents can happen to anyone but many can be avoided, even Santa needs our help sometimes, as he travels across the seas, luckily he was carrying his VHF radio so he could contact our ops room at Humber to ask for our assistance - he could've also dialled 999 from his mobile phone - 365 days of the year we are happy to respond to persons in need, so rest assured, should you need us we will be there.
"If you or anyone is in danger or difficulty, or become lost while along the coastline, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard."