The skipper of the 5m boat called Humber Coastguard for help at 20:30 after his boat broke down near Hebburn.
The inshore lifeboat was requested to launch and sped the 7 miles upriver to the scene.
Once the casualty vessel was located the three volunteer crew members quickly attached the tow rope and towed it and the occupants to safety at Royal Quays Marina.
Once the boat was tied up the lifeboat returned to station, arriving at 21:30.
Lifeboat: D-693 Mark Noble