Drifting boat did not have VHF radio

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THREE men had to be rescued after their speedboat broke down.

The crew, all from Silksworth, shouted to members of the public for help as they drifted along the River Wear, near South Hylton.

A 999 call to emergency services triggered a Sunderland RNLI rescue operation, at about 8.50pm on Tuesday.

The men were taken back to shore on the lifeboat, and their boat was towed to safety.

Helmsman Anthony Jobling said: “As this boat was not equipped with a marine VHF radio or any other form of communication equipment, they had to rely on a third party seeing them in difficulty and making the emergency call on their behalf.”