POLICE have released dramatic aerial images of floods caused by Storm Ciara.

The images were captured by officers from the National Police Air Service (NPAS) as they rescued a family of four trapped in a car by rising flood waters near Bellingham.

Northumbria Police had received reports of the car and occupants trapped on Sunday, February 9, but had little information to work with.

The rural location meant the driver was unable to access Google Maps and let officers know her exact location, meaning NPAS were requested to assist with the search.

The helicopter located the car in "substantial floodwater" and landed nearby to conduct the rescue.

Two tactical flight officers used a throw line and a Seago rescue sling to get the occupants out of the car through the rear window and carry them to safety.

Ian Vause, assistant operations director for the NPAS's North and Central region, said: “From time to time, NPAS crews carry out ad hoc landings after completing a risk assessment.

"In this instance, the crew recognised that the family were in danger and identified a suitable landing place allowing the tactical flight officers to exit the aircraft and rescue the family.

"This was a great outcome and demonstrates how our crews help to save lives and protect the public 24/7, 365 days a year.”