A GROUP of teenagers had to be rescued after one of their kayaks capsized.
The trio, believed to be 16 and 17, got into difficulty near Sunderland’s Roker Pier.
It is understood they went into the sea despite warnings from lifeguards not to because they had inflatable kayaks.
Two of the teenagers had to be taken to hospital after being saved with the help of Sunderland RNLI volunteer Luke McGill, 17, of Fulwell.
Luke was passing by in a canoe when the incident happened and heard their shouts for help.
He said: “They were inside the harbour by about 70 to 80 metres and they were chasing after another of the kayaks and they only had one paddle between two boats.
“They couldn’t catch it and they got stuck. They were all very cold when I got to them.”
Luke then shouted to a fisherman casting his line off the pier to contact the coastguard.
A lifeboat then arrived at the scene.
Other RNLI volunteers helped them on to their inshore lifeboat and took them to shore.
“A watercraft picked them up and brought them back to shore,” added Luke.
Two of the teenagers were suffering from mild hypothermia and they taken to hospital by paramedics.
The RNLI’s Paul Nicholson said the boys had been irresponsible by going out into the sea without the proper equipment.
“They didn’t have any buoyancy aids with them, so they’ve been lucky,” said Paul.
Gavin Hughes, a supervisor for the RNLI, said: “We were actually taking part in training exercises for this kind of scenario on Tuesday, so that has helped.
“We’ve ended up putting the work in and it’s paid off, which is great.”
Gavin added that the RNLI wanted to reinforce the safety message to those hoping to take to the sea this summer to be wary of using inflatable craft.
“When the water is offshore we recommend that people don’t use inflatable kayaks,” he said.
The incident happened shortly before 3pm on Thursday.