An British man, in his 20s, was amazingly rescued from cliffs in Cork by the Coast Guard. The tourist was clinging on by his fingertips when the rescue crew arrived.

The young man had attempted to climb the sheer cliff face west of Garrettstown in his bare feet. He became trapped by the tide and was within minutes of death according the Coast Guard. He was hanging by his fingertips when he was luckily spotted by a couple walking on the cliff-top.

The Kinsale unit of the Irish Coast Guard hauled the man to safety in a dramatic cliff-top rescue.

Eddie Butler, the unit's officer in charge, said he didn't know how he had held on so long.

Butler told the Irish Examiner "When we arrived and saw the situation, I didn’t think we’d save him. I think we got to him just in time…The water was raging beneath him. If he had lost his grip and fell in, he would have been lost."

The man had been walking along the beach, when he lay down in a sheltered spot and had a nap. When he woke up he discovered that the tide had come in a blocked his way back. He then decided that his only option was to climb up the 40-feet cliff.

A husband and wife on the cliff-top raised the alarm. The man ran to the road to wait for the rescue team while the wife stayed and talked to the man trapped on the cliff. The man was in such a steep area that he could no even raise his head to shout or speak to the woman.

Butler said the husband and wife team did everything by the book and saved the rescuers vital minutes. When the team of eight rescuers arrived they abseiled down the cliff and the casualty was lifted to safety. He suffered severe cuts to his feet and bruises and scratches to his hands and arms.

Irish Coast Guard abseiling down a cliff mid-rescueGoogle Images