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Man Saved From Drifting Out To Sea

Lifeboats News Release

A MAN has been rescued by Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat crew members after his dinghy started drifting out to sea.

The Tyne harbour showing where the casualty had drifted past South Shields Groyne and Light

RNLI/Adrian Don

The Tyne harbour showing where the casualty had drifted past South Shields Groyne and Light
The rescue happened on Tuesday (March 14) morning at 11:00 when the man attempted to chase after another dinghy which had broken from its moorings near to Corporation Quay, South Shields, on the river Tyne almost opposite the lifeboat station.

The Coxswain of Tynemouth lifeboat spotted the man in the 2m dinghy rowing after the similarly sized empty boat in the strong westerly wind and immediately alerted two other lifeboat crew members who were already in the station boarding boat replacing mooring lines.

The crew members raced across the river to the casualty who by now had been blown by the wind past the Groyne light and was heading towards the piers, unable to get to shore. People on the Groyne had also seen his predicament and had dialled 999 to report to UK Coastguard that the man needed help.

The lifeboat crew reached the man just a minute later and he and his boat were quickly tied alongside the lifeboat. The other boat was also recovered and all were taken back to the slipway at the boat angling club where they had come from.

Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI, said: 'Members of South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade had been tasked to assist on shore by UK Coastguard’s Humber Operations Centre and they gave advice to the man who was wearing no lifejacket or buoyancy aid and had no means of calling for help other than shouting.

'He had acted on instinct to attempt to recover the original boat but had he not been spotted the wind and tide would in all probability have carried him past the piers and out to sea where his situation would have become critically dangerous.

'We'd like to remind anyone going on a boat to be prepared for the worst by at least wearing a lifejacket and having a reliable means of calling for help.'


For more information: Please contact Adrian Don, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07834 731833 or at

Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station was established in 1862 although there have been lifeboats on the river Tyne since the world's first purpose built lifeboat was launched here in 1790. The station has 30 volunteer crew members who come from all walks of life. We operate two lifeboats: The Severn class all weather lifeboat Spirit of Northumberland and our D class inshore lifeboat Mark Noble. We have a website at, and you can find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @TynemouthRNLI.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland