EMERGENCY services were called to Minehead beach after a woman had been pulled from the water unconscious.

HM Coastguard team from Watchet were joined by police, land and air ambulance personnel at the scene just before 5pm on the beach opposite Butlins.

The first two Coastguards on the scene immediately reported back that the female casualty was still unconscious and she would need to be stretchered to safety.

The Devon Air Ambulance landed on Minehead beach, and Coastguard officers had to intervene to stop some children running towards the helicopter from behind, toward the tail rotors.

Paramedics stabilised the woman while the cliff rescue stretcher was prepared, which was deemed the most suitable equipment to get the woman from the shoreline up to the beach.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard Watchet said: "A decision was made by the Paramedics that a transfer by air was not required following the female casualty’s improved condition, however due to the risks of secondary drowning the female was to be taken to hospital by land ambulance."

A cordon was placed around the air ambulance before take off to ensure no-one strayed into the take off area or would be impacted by debris as the helicopter took off.

The Coastguard spokesman added: "We wish to thank the members of the public who went into the water and pulled the female back to shore and for calling 999 and requesting the Coastguards and ambulance service.

"We would also like to advise parents to ensure the safety of their children when air ambulances or Coastguard helicopters come in and land on beaches or fields, to stay well away, not to approach the aircraft, and if near to trees to stay away and not stand underneath them, that way ensuring no loose branches or foliage can come down on you or any debris on the beach can be blown across onto you."