FIVE children became cut off by the Morecambe Bay tide while playing on the beach at Hest Bank this afternoon.

Liverpool Coastguard, the RNLI and Lancashire Police were contacted after the youngsters' mother raised the alarm at 3.03pm.

The group, all aged around 11, became stranded on the beach looking out towards Grange-over-Sands, near the level crossing.

Explaining that rescue teams were stood down a short time later, a Liverpool Coastguard spokesman said: "The mother realised what was happening - that the tide was coming round the back of them. 

"She went out to them herself and managed to get them back across the channel before it was too late.

"We spoke to one of the people who do the guided walks, and they were very concerned."

The spokesman urged beach users to check tide times in advance and to stay away if they are unsure.

He also urged people to 'leave it to the professionals' by contacting the Coastguard in emergencies, rather than putting themselves in danger.