LIFEBOAT volunteers were scrambled to rescue volunteers three men after their boat became swamped in surf off Seaburn beach.
The 5m ‘letcher Arrow Sport speed-boat was caught side-on by the 1.5m surf and swamped.
The owners managed to beach the boat before restarting it but experienced lack of engine power and the boat was then swamped for a second time.
The rescue mission was launched shortly before 4.20pm yesterday when Coastguard Officers based at Humber Coastguard Marine Rescue Coordination Centre received a 999 telephone call from a member of the public reporting that they had sighted a small speedboat in difficulty close inshore near Morrison’s supermarket, Seaburn.
Officers diverted their own Coastguard Rescue Team from local area patrol as well as contacting James Jamieson, Operations Manager at Sunderland RNLI to request the launch of their D Class inshore lifeboat MyJo.
The lifeboat launched ten minutes later with three volunteers onboard under the command of Helmsman Ron Carroll.
A shore team of 4 RNLI volunteers were also tasked to the scene by road.
On arrival the Coastguard team discovered that all three crew were safely ashore: although two had minor cuts which did not require further treatment.
After about an hour; the RNLI volunteers were able to work together to safely pull the boat clear of the beach back into open water. A shorter tow was then established and the boat taken back to Sunderland Marina slipway where it was recovered onto the owners trailer.
Ron Carroll, helmsman at Sunderland RNLI, said: “This incident highlighted how important it is for both our sea-going and shore-based volunteers to be trained to the highest standards.
“The safe recovery of the boat in difficult conditions was testament to the charities training programmes.”
The RNLI registered charity the RNLI relies on voluntary donations and legacies from the public for its income.