A FAMILY was rescued amid fears they would be swept away by waves after getting cut off by the tide.

West Bay and Lyme Regis Cliff Rescue Teams were alerted after two adults and a child had been cut off by the tide at Freshwater Beach near Bridport on Saturday afternoon.

With a rising tide and severe gale force 9 winds and a rough sea there was a danger that the family could be swept out to sea before they could be rescued.

Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat was also launched when coastguards reported the three people in trouble.

Sea conditions were rough and the lifeboat crew was stood down when coastguards ashore assisted the three people to safety.

Weymouth RNLI all-weather lifeboat Ernest and Mabel was also launched at 12.35pm as a precautionary move to cover against the possibility of them being swept away.

However at 12.58pm, just before the lifeboat had reached Portland Bill, news came in from Solent Coastguard that the family had been rescued, so the lifeboat was stood down and returned to station refuelled and made ready for the next shout.

Nick Marks, Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager in Lyme Regis, said:’Conditions around the coastline this weekend are challenging with tidal surges, large surf, strong rip currents and cliff falls.

‘It is very likely that swimming, bodyboarding, or surfing will not be safe.

‘Anglers, walkers and those taking photographs are reminded to keep a safe distance from the water. As always, if you see someone in difficulty please call 999 and ask for the coastguard.’

The lifeboat was launched at 12.20pm and returned to Lyme Regis harbour an hour later.

This was the 15th emergency call answered by the RNLI volunteer crew at Lyme Regis so far this year.

Meanwhile, on Friday two people had to be rescued after becoming cut off by the tide between Charmouth and Lyme Regis. Lyme Regis RNLI Lifeboat was launched to rescue the pair.

A spokesman for the lifeboat crew has sent a warning over venturing along the coast in strong winds.

He said: “Take care the next few days as strong winds will drive the sea into the cliffs.

“Always check your tide times with Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre or Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre.”