Humber Coastguard paged the volunteer crews of Tynemouth and Cullercoats RNLI lifeboats at 18:39 after receiving a 999 call reporting a vessel in distress off Tynemouth Longsands.
Both lifeboats launched soon after with their crews racing to the scene. On arrival they discovered three men on a 5.5m cabin cruiser who had been unable to start their engine after a fishing trip.
The crew of the Tynemouth lifeboat attached a tow rope to the boat and towed it and the men to safety at Royal Quays Marina, North Shields.
lifeboat: 17-20 Spirit of Northumberland.