Two children and a woman were winched 100ft to safety after clinging to a tree stump when they were trapped by rising water in a river, the fire service said today.
An RAF helicopter was called in to join the rescue at about 2.30pm on the River Ure in Hackfall Woods, Grewelthorpe, North Yorkshire, and plucked the three people away from danger.
Fire crews from Masham and Ripon as well as "Swift Water" specialists and the York Water Rescue Boat had been called to the scene.
Crews made a chain down stream of the terrified group in case any of them were swept away from a small island in the river before the helicopter arrived.
The rescue operation was stepped up when it was realised that water levels were due to rise even further following heavy overnight rain.
The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said they were called to reports of an adult and two children "who were clinging to a tree stump, trapped by rising river water levels".
A spokesman added: "Fire crews implemented safety measures should any of the three persons be swept away.
"A Sea King Helicopter from the RAF attended and used a 100ft winch to winch all three persons to safety.
"All persons rescued unharmed."