A FULL-scale rescue operation swung into action on Monday when a toy plane was spotted on dangerous rocks at Saltburn.

The inshore lifeboat, 12 coastguards and two police officers were called out to recover the radio-controlled plane stranded on the rocks below Huntcliff.

A spokesman for the Staithes and Runswick lifeboat later explained the emergency services wanted to avoid the risk of children putting themselves in danger by trying to reach it.

The 12 coastguards from Skinningrove and Staithes stations, included station officer Les Lintott from Staithes and Eric Lorains from Skinningrove, were joined by two police officers from Saltburn.

The inshore lifeboat with helmsman Paul Theaker and three crew members spotted the exact location of the plane and land-based members abseiled the 50-60ft down the cliff face to recover it.

"The model plane was spotted by a member of the public and it was decided by the emergency services that it would be safer if the coastguards retrieved it, rather than take the chance that some passer-by or children would climb down the cliff and put themselves at risk," said the lifeboat spokesman.

"It's mandatory to have 12 people involved in any sort of cliff operation for safety reasons."

The owner of the red and yellow glider, which has a 2ft wingspan, has not been traced and it is being kept at Saltburn police station.

* The recovery operation followed a busy weekend for the Staithes and Runswick inshore lifeboat, the Pride of Leicester.

The Atlantic 75 was involved in several demonstrations as part of the weekend's fundraising activities and was launched on three occasions to respond to emergency calls.

The weekend was a huge success, with £12,000 so far raised and more money still to be counted.

A special limited print of a picture by Joseph Richard Bagshawe that had been in open auction via the internet and postal bids for several weeks raised £350.