Sunday afternoon drama for walkers caught out by rising tide.

Ilfracombe's inshore lifeboat rescued four people cut off by the tide on rocks at Hele Bay yesterday (Sunday).

The crew were called out at 3.15pm and a large swell made the rescue difficult because of the danger posed to the lifeboat by the rocks.

The casualties were brought on board the boat two at a time and then returned to the beach.

Helmsman Ben Langham said the group has decided to explore and become caught out by the tide.

"These four were lucky, as their situation was quickly becoming more dangerous," he said.

"The tide comes in very quickly here, and can easily catch out even the most seasoned walker."