A JET ski rider was rescued on Saturday evening by Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat after he drifted over four miles out to sea when his engine failed.
The alarm was raised at 18:15 when the rider called Humber Coastguard for help. He and a friend on another personal watercraft had been riding off the coast near Marsden when the engine on one of the craft failed. The rider of the other craft attempted to tow his friend back to safety but was unable to due to the strongly ebbing tide.
Humber Coastguard requested the launch of Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat which launched just a few minutes later and sped to the scene. The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade were also tasked to assist from shore.
Once in the area off Marsden Bay the lifeboat crew were unable to locate the jet skis as it was quickly becoming dark and the craft were unlit. After almost an hour, assisted by the SSVLB and the lifeboat crew using parachute illumination flares, the casualties were located, having drifted over four miles from shore.
The rider of the broken down craft was brought on board the lifeboat and a tow rope attached to the ski, which was then towed back to safety at South Shields public slipway, where they arrived at 20:00. The other rider followed the lifeboat closely back to the river where he took over the tow for the last few feet back to shore, where they were met by the SSVLB.
The lifeboat then went to refuel at Royal Quays Marina before returning to station.