A day-tripper with a little boy were rescued by Scarborough RNLI on Sunday afternoon.
The man and his son, from Doncaster, were trapped on a rock by the incoming tide while crabbing.
Had the man been alone, he would probably have been able to swim to safety, speculated inshore lifeboat helm Paul Huggins.
The boy, aged about five, had become upset so his dad put a call in to the coastguard and the lifeboat sped to their rescue, near the Spa.
Father and son were taken aboard the lifeboat and swiftly deposited back on the busy beach, which contained hundreds if not thousands of people.
The man, who was embarrassed at having to call the lifeboat, was reassured by Mr Huggins, who told him it was better to be safe than sorry.
“He had not been watching the tide and all of a sudden he realised they were cut off,” Mr Huggins said.
“He was shin deep in water on the rock, but would have been up to his neck if he’d tried to get back to the beach, which was only 15 metres away.
“He was surrounded by the sea, holding his son with one arm and waving a fishing net with the other. He said he couldn’t believe how fast the tide had come in.
“We landed them at Kiddies’ Corner.
“People always need to be aware of the tide and the sea state and should always make sure they have a safe passage back to the beach,” Mr Huggins added.
The other members of the lifeboat crew were Chris Moss, on his first rescue, and Keith Eade.
The shore crew were Pat Mesruther, Dave Horsley and John Senior.