Two adults and a child who set up a tent on the top of a 280ft cliff had ‘no idea of the extreme danger they were in’, Coastguards said.
Rescuers were called at lunchtime on Saturday the coastline on the Cleveland Way, North Yorkshire.
Teams from Staithes and Whitby answered the 999 call and found the family not only extremely close to the sheer drop, but also on a piece of land that already appeared to have dropped slightly.
That stretch of coast is vulnerable to landslips which can happen without any notice at all.
Adam Turner, senior coastal operations officer for HM Coastguard, said: ‘The family were in an extremely perilous position with no idea of the extreme danger they were in.
‘Cliff edges are really unstable and can easily collapse, as recent landslips in the area have shown.
‘If you live near the coast and are in a position to take exercise there in line with current Covid-19 restrictions, please take care near cliffs.
‘Keep to paths and stay well back from the cliff edge.
‘Check the weather and tides before you head out, wear appropriate sturdy footwear and take a fully charged mobile phone, so if the worst should happen you can call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’
In a statement on Facebook, Staithes Coastguard said: ‘Safety advice was given from Coastguard rescue officers due to the dangerous location of their tent, especially with recent landslips.
‘An officer from North Yorkshire Police also attended due to breach of coronavirus restrictions.’
The statement added: ‘If walking te Cleveland Way please stay on designated footpaths.’