Eight men were rescued by the Tynemouth and Sunderland RNLI crews after their fishing boat starting sinking a mile off Seaburn, Sunderland.

The crew on board the seven metre fishing boat issued a ‘Mayday” just after 3.45pm on 26 June after the vessel starting sinking a mile off Sunderland.

Humber Coastguard, which coordinated the rescue operation, deployed both the Severn All weather and Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboats from Tynemouth and Sunderland RNLI.

The Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat had just finished a training exercise with a coastguard rescue helicopter, which assisted in the incident.

A rescue water craft was also dispatched from Roker RNLI beach lifeguard unit and members of the Sunderland coastguard rescue team were tasked to assist from shore.

A number of other fishing boats and a sail training vessel that had been nearby kept watched over the fishermen until the lifeboats arrived.

The crew of the sinking boat were trying to bale the water out of the vessel when the Tynemouth lifeboat crew arrived.

They were immediately evacuated onto the lifeboat.

Two water pumps were then set up in an attempt to stabilise the sinking vessel.

After about 30 minutes it was decided that the boat was stable enough to be towed back to Sunderland by Tynemouth lifeboat, while volunteers continued pumping water out of the boat.

On arrival at Sunderland harbour it was agreed with the harbour master to beach the boat on North Sands near The Glass Centre.

A spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station, Adrian Don, said: “This was an excellent team effort from everyone involved.”

“There is no doubt that without the intervention of our volunteer crews the anglers would have been in serious danger of going into the sea as their boat would have sunk in a short time and unfortunately they only had three lifejackets between the eight people,” he continued.

“We are all grateful for the support given by the local boating community who responded to the initial distress message to offer their support until our crews arrived,” concluded the spokesman.

Some of the men in their makeshift raft off Anglesey

5 rescued from makeshift raft

The Moelfre inshore lifeboat rescued the five men on their makeshift raft as they struggled to paddle back to shore…