Lifeboat volunteers from Sunderland RNLI Station scrambled into action earlier this afternoon (Sunday 24 February) to assist four fishermen, after their boat suffered gearbox failure on the River Wear at South Hylton.
The rescue mission was launched shortly after 2:00pm when Coastguard Officers based at Humber Coastguard Marine Rescue Coordination Centre received an emergency ‘999’ telephone call from the crew stating that their vessel was drifting after losing power close to Clexheugh Rock, near South Hylton.
Officers immediately contacted James Jamieson, Operations Manager at Sunderland RNLI to request the launch of their D Class inshore lifeboat MyJo.
Two shore-based response teams from Sunderland Coastguard and Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade were also tasked to the scene to assist with communications.
The lifeboat launched seven minutes later with three volunteers onboard under the command of Helmsman Mark Cleminson.
The vessel and its crew (four male adults from Sunderland) were quickly located and taken in tow by the inshore lifeboat back to their own moorings at Deptford.
Jonny Lindsley, Volunteer lifeboat Crewman at Sunderland RNLI said: ‘The timing of this incident highlights the commitment of our volunteers and their families to drop their normal daily tasks and respond to help those in distress. At the time of the callout several of the crew were either sat down eating Sunday lunch with their families or carrying out normal family tasks such as weekly food shopping in their local supermarket. This level of commitment from the volunteers and their families is essential to our charity continuing to save lives of people in distress at sea’.
As a registered charity the RNLI relies on voluntary donations and legacies from the public for its income.