999 alert as boat floats off

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A RESCUE mission was launched after an abandoned boat sparked concern.

Volunteers from Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station were called out after reports of a suspected unmanned small craft drifting close to Featherbed Rocks in Seaham.

The Coastguard received an emergency 999 telephone call from a member of the public concerned about the vessel, seen drifting out to sea without any visible signs of crew onboard, at 8.50am yesterday.

The Coastguard requested the launch of the charity’s D Class inshore lifeboat Helen and Ian Tytler.

A group of adults were spotted pulling the boat out of the water, and it was confirmed no one was missing from it.

Paul Nicholson, of Sunderland RNLI, said: “We would like to remind people that if they lose any small inflatables or dinghies at the coast, to ensure they are reported to the Coastguard so that they can be quickly identified in case of any emergency calls.”