Twelve revellers sparked a massive air-sea rescue operation as gales wrecked their cave party

One man scaled 150ft granite cliffs at Barrowfield in Cornwall to get help after a friend of his was swept out to sea when a cave party went tragically wrong as gale force winds lashed the coast.

Two lifeboats and a helicopter were on the lookout for the missing man as five couples were led to safety by Newquay and St Merryn Coastguard rescue teams.

‘The public should think very hard before going anywhere near exposed coasts during periods of bad weather,’ said Falmouth coastguard Steve Varley.