Empty dinghy sparks call out for volunteer team

The incident happened close to the Sir James Knott Memorial Flats in Tynemouth, seen here from South Shields. Image copyright Google Maps.
The incident happened close to the Sir James Knott Memorial Flats in Tynemouth, seen here from South Shields. Image copyright Google Maps.

An empty boat caused concern after it was seen floating in the River Tyne.

The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade's team was on its way back to the coast from another call out last night when the UK Coastguard asked if they could head to the River Tyne, close to the Sir James Knott Memorial Flats in Tynemouth.

A 999 call had reported a 10ft object floating in the river at around 8.30pm.

A spokesman for the team said: "Once on scene, brigade members located an unmanned dinghy.

"The location and description of the dinghy was passed to the Coastguard and Port of Tyne, and it was decided that it was not currently in a dangerous place and that it could be left in its present location.

"With this in mind, the brigade was stood down and returned to station."

The five-strong group had been returning to the coast after they were called out just before 7pm yesterday to help oversee the Richardson Road Helicopter Landing Site in Newcastle, where the Coastguard Rescue helicopter was arriving to transport a man from the Seahouses area.

The helicopter landed at 7.45pm and the man, who had suffered pelvis injuries, was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary for assessment and treatment.