A geology student had to be rescued from the foot of rapidly eroding cliffs after finding out steps back up to terra firma had been removed .
The female student had to be rescued by Newhaven lifeboat crew after becoming trapped at the foot of Birling Gap just before noon this morning.
A lifeboat was dispatched to pick her up and return her safely to Newhaven harbour at 1.20pm.
Alan Novis, spokesman for Newhaven Lifeboat, said: "She was a university student studying geology and walking along the shoreline expecting to get to Birling Gap and walk up the steps only to find the bottom of the steps weren't there as they have been taken away for repairs following the storms.
"She had taken the necessary precautions and looked at the tides table and no way she would have known that the steps were gone.
"Obviously there is some risk around the cliffs and people should not get too close but during mid tide and at a Spring tide she would have had several hundred yards worth of uncovered rocks and beach to safely walk along."
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