Couple rescued from cliff edge as flooding hits North Yorkshire

Coastguard teams rescued a man and woman clinging to a cliff “by their fingernails” after they were trapped by the tide during a summer storm.

It came as hailstones the size of “pickled onions” pounded North Yorkshire and flooding hit the county.

Nearly a month’s worth of rain fell in four hours on Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales.

A couple were stranded 100ft up Filey Brigg, a peninsula in North Yorkshire, as they tried to climb the cliff to escape a tide.

The pair were cut off as they walked on the beach, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

They were spotted by a member of the public shortly before 4pm on Tuesday before a rescue team from Filey and Bridlington, Coastguard helicopter and Filey RNLI Lifeboat were dispatched.

Matt Atkinson, from HM Coastguard, said: “When the coastguard teams arrived on scene the man and woman were clinging on by their fingernails so we knew that we had to act fast.

“The two teams set up to execute two rescues side by side, quickly ensuring that the two people were made safe.

“Once the teams knew that the man and woman were not going to fall, they were able to slowly bring them up the other 50ft of the cliffs to the top.”

The couple were checked over at the top of the cliff and are safe and well.

Gareth Walls, from the city of Ripon in the county, posted a clip of hailstones hammering down onto his car during the extreme weather on Tuesday afternoon.

He tweeted a picture of one of the stones, writing: “The hail was like pickled onions.”

Andrew Loftus, from Masham, said some of the hailstones were almost an inch across.

He posted a photo of a toy digger on a blanket of white with the words: “My son’s digger has its work cut out with these hailstones!.”

Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team posted an image of a bridge in Grinton, North Yorkshire, that appears to have collapsed in heavy flooding.

A Met Office spokesman said the unsettled weather was down to a band of low pressure coming up from the South West, leading to heavy downpours in some parts.

Malham Tarn had 82.2mm of rain in 24 hours.

The monthly average in the area for this time of year is 89mm.

Gorslas in s““““outh Wales experienced 34.2mm of rain, while Dartmoor and Exmoor had 36mm.

Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said: “Some of the storms across the north of England have had some big hailstones because the air is so unstable – conditions are perfect for generating big thunderstorms.

“There’s low pressure that’s dominated coming up from the South West and that’s helping to generate these showers.”

He added that the unstable conditions would continue for the next 24 to 36 hours, particularly in the north of England and Scotland.

The Met Office has put out a yellow rain warning for the north of England all day on Wednesday.

A yellow storm warning is in place for Wednesday afternoon and evening in Scotland.

Showers are likely to continue in northern and eastern parts of the UK into the latter half of the week, but in Wales, Northern Ireland and the South of England it will turn drier and brighter.

Mr Petagna said: “There’s going to be no return of the extreme heat seen last week for a while – while things are going to improve over Thursday and Friday they are going to turn unsettled again during the weekend.”

Showers are expected across the UK, with the South expected to see sticky, humid conditions with temperatures peaking at 27C (80.6F).

Mr Petanga added: “When the sun comes out it could become quite warm in the South – nothing like last week but still a few degrees above average.”

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