Busy day for Sunderland lifeboats + VIDEO

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WEARSIDE lifeboat volunteers were called into action twice in less than three hours.

The first rescue mission was launched shortly after 3pm on Tuesday after Coastguard officers received an emergency 999 call from a member of the public reporting a capsized dinghy.

Ben Mitchell, crewman at Sunderland RNLI, said: “When our lifeboat arrived on scene we quickly liaised with the Coastguard and also the RNLI lifeguards, who had launched their rescue water craft, a specially adapted jet ski for lifesaving, to assist in the rescue call.

“We were confronted with a vast array of vessels on the waterfront, but none that seemed in distress.”

“We established that on this occasion the member of the public had made a well-intentioned false call and all units were stood down.”

At 5.40pm, the RNLI crew was called out again to help five men on board a broken- down vessel off Hendon Beach. They were brought back to Sunderland marina safely.

Paul Nicholson, senior helmsman at Sunderland RNLI, said: “The afternoon is a real testament to the commitment of the volunteers at Sunderland RNLI but also to the continued support we have received as a charity from the people of Sunderland.

“It is that support which allows us to continue saving lives in Sunderland.”

Click here to see a video of the crews in operation