A Mayday radio distress call was made at 2.39pm by one of three kayakers whose craft had capsized just outside Tynemouth pier, leaving them fighting to stop being swept out to sea in stormy waters.
Humber Coastguard immediately requested the launch of RNLI lifeboats from Cullercoats and Tynemouth to go to the aid of the three kayakers.
The Port of Tyne pilot vessel Collingwood also rushed to the kayakers’ assistance and the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade were tasked to assist on shore.
Cullercoats lifeboat arrived on scene first and quickly located the three men. The volunteer RNLI crew pulled them from the sea into the lifeboat, then retrieved the kayaks.
There had been seven kayakers in the party and Tynemouth RNLI’s inshore and all weather lifeboats searched the area to ensure all the others were accounted for and safe. Once it was established that there was no-one else in difficulty or danger the three casualties and their kayaks were transferred onto the Tynemouth all weather lifeboat and returned to safety at Tynemouth’s Priors Haven, where they had originally launched from.
This service marked a historic milestone, as it was the 2000th time Tynemouth lifeboat station’s lifeboats have been launched on service since the station was established by the RNLI in 1862.
Lifeboats: D-693 Mark Noble and 17-20 Spirit of Northumberland