A 25-year-old woman is today in hospital after the car she was driving plunged 80ft from cliffs at Marsden Grotto.
Police were called to the scene at 1.52am this morning and a car was found on the beach below the cliffs, at South Shields.
The woman - who was the sole occupant of the vehicle - was extracted from the vehicle and taken to Newcastle's RVI with serious injuries, after being evacuated from the beach via lifeboat. Her condition is described as stable.
The car had gone through fencing on the cliff top and came to rest on the beach below.
Humber Coastguard were asked to assist and requested the launch of both Tynemouth RNLI inshore and all weather lifeboats, assisted by Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team and South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade on shore.
The spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI said the woman was conscious, although seriously injured.
Due to fog and poor visibility, which prevented a rescue helicopter from reaching the beach, the woman was moved using the lifeboats.
Once out of the car, she was put on a stretcher and prepared for transfer by the paramedics before being carried on to the inshore lifeboat which took her to the all-weather lifeboat, which was standing by off the beach.
She was transferred to the larger lifeboat, accompanied by two paramedics, then taken to a waiting ambulance at South Shields ferry landing.
Once she was on her way to hospital, the lifeboats and other teams were stood down at 3.30am.
Tynemouth RNLI spokesman Adrian Don said: "This was a great example of our crews working in close coordination with other emergency services to effect the fastest evacuation of the injured woman.
"Conditions were poor with thick fog, but our volunteer crew members used their training and experience to make sure that this didn't affect the rescue.
"We don't know how the car came to go over the cliffs or have any news on how the casualty is doing but we hope she makes a full recovery."
A spokesman for HM Coastguard said: "We assisted the police with an incident at Marsden Grotto at 2am."
A spokesman for South Shields fire station said: "We were called at 2.10am. Police and the ambulance service were already on the scene. The HART team took the lead."
Police are investigating how the vehicle came over the cliff and anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference 67 of 13/06/16.