The skipper of the 5m Ajax called for assistance at 14:15 after his engine failed in the lower Tyne harbour leaving his vessel drifting at the mercy of the outgoing tide and westerly wind which were pushing the boat slowly out to sea.
Humber Coastguard immediately requested the launch of Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat and owing to the strong wind it was decided to launch the Severn class all weather lifeboat.
The skipper of the Ajax had managed to take shelter near the end of South Shields pier and the lifeboat sped the short distance across the river just a few minutes after launching.
Once this was done and the Ajax and her three occupants were safely ashore the Y boat was recovered and the lifeboat returned to station.
Lifeboat: 17-20 Spirit of Northumberland and Y-228