Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 13:14 UK

Drunk teenage group left on cliff

Long Quarry Point, near Torquay
The point is accessible from the cliff above

Coastguards decided to leave a group of apparently drunk teenagers on a cliff overnight because it was deemed too risky to help them off.

The incident near Torquay began when an 18-year-old dialled 999 at about 0045 BST and said he had suffered an epileptic seizure.

Rescue teams airlifted him to the cliff top and he was taken to hospital.

Coastguards criticised the group for "tying up resources" overnight and putting themselves at risk by drinking.

After the first youth was airlifted off the cliff a decision was made to leave the seven others there until daylight, when they made their own way off.

They were having a beach party and were very drunk
Fiona Iris, Brixham Coastguard

The group had been having a party at Long Quarry Point, in South Devon.

They were on an area the size of a football pitch about 20ft (6m) above the sea which is accessed by a path from the top of the cliff.

Coastguards decided that after recent rainfall it would be too risky to lower anyone down to rescue them.

Fiona Iris, from Brixham Coastguard, said: "They weren't in any danger.

"They were having a beach party and were very drunk.

"It was decided it was safer to leave them there to sleep it off."

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the incident had tied up rescue teams overnight.

It warned of the dangers of young people putting themselves at risk by drinking too much.

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