Members of Flamborough RNLI launched at 3.36pm following reports that two people were stuck at North Landing.
Two crew members got into the water and guided the two people to a ledge near the base of the cliff.
The lifeboat then manoeuvred into position so that one of them could be taken aboard.
But the worsening sea state meant the second person could not be taken aboard safely.
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Coastguard members tried to get to that person from the cliff top but could not reach them.
At 4.26pm, the search and rescue helicopter was called out, which lifted the second person to safety.
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