Two schoolgirls survived being buried alive when a section of cliff collapsed on them as they walked on a beach.
The friends were saved by a group of three men who dug them out with their bare hands after a 10-year-old boy raised the alarm.
The girls are believed to have been trying to climb the 30ft tall shallow sandy cliff face when it suddenly collapsed at Hemsby beach, Norfolk.
Three fire engines, two ambulances and lifeboat men rushed to Hemsby beach fearing the worst on Good Friday, but the girls were rescued by passers-by before more of the cliff could give way.
Retired fisherman Kenny Chaney told his local newspaper it could have been a different story if he were not on the beach with his metal detector at the time.
"A little boy of about 10 came running up to me and said 'two girls have been buried in an avalanche'," said Mr Chaney, 66.
"It seemed they had tried to climb the cliffs. One girl was buried up to her neck and the other up to her chest.
"I was worried that the whole lot would come down - it was pretty vertical there and there's a lot of weight in it."
He said two men came to assist with digging out the two holidaymakers, who he estimates were aged 12 and nine.
"They were pretty panicked and frightened," he said. "We couldn't use a shovel as we didn't know where their legs were. I was drawing the sand out with my bare hands. It felt a long while when I kept digging and the sand kept collapsing in.
"They were very lucky they didn't get completely buried or nobody would have seen them until the next tide."
After 10 minutes of digging, the girls were freed - the emergency services arrived shortly afterwards and the girls were reunited with their father.
It is understood the family had been walking from Winterton to Hemsby along the beach.
A spokesman for the fire service said the tide was a long way in that day and made the sand act like sinking mud.
Ross Hewitt, coxswain of Hemsby Lifeboat, said: "The major risk is death. Luckily for the girls, there was someone on the beach, but apart from them there was nobody else.
"They could have been stuck there for who knows how long."
What a lucky escape!
- Five-year-old threatened with noise fine
Poor Alfie Lansdell was <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/08/30/four-year-old-threatened-with-5-000-noise-fine-for-playing-too/" target="_blank">threatened with a whopping £5,000 fine</a> because he apparently made too much noise playing in his garden. The little lad was told to keep stum by his local council in Hull after a neighbour complained he was making too much of a racket playing outside in the family's garden.</p>
- Picnics banned on Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Visitors to Blackpool's Pleasure Beach attraction - which costs around £80 for a family ticket - were told they <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/05/06/family-trip-to-blackpool-dont-take-a-picnic/" target="_blank">couldn’t bring their own packed lunches</a> and could only eat food they had purchased on site last Summer. Staff at the entrance to the Pleasure Beach reportedly seized sarnies at the gate, only returning them when visitors left! A spokesperson said at the time: “Due to the intensity of rides and attractions within the 42 acre site, there is limited space, and so a dedicated picnic area has been created adjacent to the entrance of Pleasure Beach.”</p>
- No more conkers, kids!
New research shows traditional playground games, like conkers and British Bulldog have <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/04/19/schools-ban-traditional-playground-games-over-safety-fears/" target="_blank">nearly disappeared from school break times</a> amid concerns about health and safety. More and more schools are banning the games over fears off broken bones (yes really, from conkers!) and even nut allergies (we tried very hard not to laugh at that one). Have they been banned at your children’s school?</p>
- Butlins ban bumper cars from bumping!
In possibly the most bonkers health and safety story to date, <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/04/27/butlins-bans-bumpers-cars-from-bumping/" target="_blank">Butlins banned bumper cars from bumping into each other</a> at their onsite fairgrounds last year. The director at the Bognor Regis Butlins resort, Jeremy Pardey said: "The point of our dodgems is to dodge people, not to run into people.”</p>
- Footballs banned in Gloucestershire school
A school in Gloucestershire needed to find its balls back in September 2011 when it banned <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/09/23/parents-outrage-as-school-bans-proper-footballs/" target="_blank">proper footballs for soft sponge balls</a> because it feared children would injure themselves. Outraged mums and dads have branded the move crazy, but teachers insist they have implemented the ban after a “number of incidents” with leather-style balls.</p>
- Seven-year-olds told off for gun mime game
Two little boys got into trouble for <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/05/31/seven-year-olds-reprimanded-for-gun-mime-game/" target="_blank">miming a gun fight at school in May 2011. </a>The seven-year-olds were told by teachers not to make gun shapes with their hands because it was threatening, and their parents were then instructed to reprimand the boys over their behaviour. The father of one of the boys said: 'This is ridiculous. How can you tell a seven-year-old boy he can't play guns and armies with his friends?” Do you agree with the teachers or the parents on this one?</p>
- Playground equipment removed from park
Poor children in Allergate, Co. Durham are twiddling their thumbs after health and safety spoilsports <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/12/08/health-and-safety-spoilsports-strip-kids-playground-of-all-equi/" target="_blank">removed all the playground equipment from a park</a> as they claimed it was dangerous, despite being in use, without problems, for 10 years. Swings, a roundabout, see-saw and slide were all removed because they apparently fall foul of complicated European regulations.</p>
- Plastic crates banned by Primary School
Dairy Crest gave Wychwood primary school 25 milk crates in 1996 for children to use in the playground. But 15 years later they were removed by the dairy, <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/08/24/plastic-crates-used-primary-school-toys-for-15-years-banned-health-safety/" target="_blank">claiming it was worried about children injuring themselves! </a>Teacher Anne Bardsley reckoned the crate decision was crackers, and says the children have been very upset by the move…</p>
- Boy banned by police from playing football outside his house
Poor Bertie Longworth, eight, was given a stern talking to by police after <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/04/04/boy-banned-by-police-from-playing-football-outside-his-house/" target="_blank">neighbours complained he was kicking his football too loudly!</a> He was told off for making too much noise with his ball and banned from playing with it on the pavement outside his house!</p>
- Parents need planning permission to build Wendy house
A couple in Wiltshire were left scratching their heads when they were <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/08/09/couple-told-to-apply-for-planning-permission-for-six-year-olds/" target="_blank">told they needed to secure planning permission</a> before they could build a Wendy house for their daughter. Sally and Brook Johnson told reporters they were “flabbergasted” when they received a letter to apply for retrospective planning permission for the play house in the grounds of their £1million country house.</p>
- Seven-year-old cannot fly pirate flag
Poor Anthony Steele loved playing pirates in his garden…until his <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/03/01/seven-year-old-boy-told-he-cannot-fly-pirate-flag-in-garden-anthony-steele/" target="_blank">local council said he couldn’t fly his Jolly Roger flag</a> as it breached advertising regulations and could be seen as promoting piracy. Anthony’s mum, Sara was outraged when she was told the family had to remove to flag because someone had complained, and poor pirate Anthony was devastated. We’re very surprised he didn’t make East Lindsey District Council walk the plank…</p>