A rescue mission was launched after a boat ran out of fuel, leaving children and adults stranded on the Tyne.
Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat volunteers were called out after the six adults and children were sailing up the river from South Shields in an inflatable dinghy powered by a small outboard motor.
Our volunteer crew members responded to the situation immediately and took the six out of danger as soon as possible.Adrian Don, Tynemouth RNLI
The alert began when they ran out of fuel near Hebburn at 6pm yesterday.
They called 999 for help and were put through to UK Coastguard who requested the assistance of Tynemouth RNLI inshore lifeboat which launched just a few minutes later.
The two volunteer lifeboat crew members sped upriver from the lifeboat station on North Shields Fish Quay, reaching the drifting dinghy 10 minutes later.
The volunteers checked to make sure all of the six were well, then attached a tow rope to the boat which was then towed to safety at South Shields slipway.
Once the people were safely ashore the lifeboat returned to station.
Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station, said: “The six adults and children were adrift in the river after running out of fuel, having apparently miscalculated how much they would need.
“The Tyne can be a dangerous place for small boats and a number of large vessels including a dredger and a cargo ship were passing the area at the time.
“Our volunteer crew members responded to the situation immediately and took the six out of danger as soon as possible.
“In another incident that occurred at the same time, The Northumbria Police Marine Division launch Sabre, which had been on duty for Sunderland airshow, towed three men to safety in a boat that was dangerously close to rocks at South Shields.
“It had broken down for the second time that day and had already been towed to safety earlier.
“Its occupants were unaware of how much danger they were in and were attempting to repair their engine themselves when the two officers on board the launch came across them.
“These incidents are a timely reminder of the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign that aims to drastically reduce drowning in the UK from all causes including boating incidents.
“The RNLI urges anyone going out in a boat to make sure their vessel is mechanically sound, including ensuring they have enough fuel for their journey.”
Information on how to stay safe on or near water, at the coast or inland, can be found at rnli.org/respectthewater.