Two men and a dog were towed back to Sunderland after calling for help when the engine of their yacht failed a mile off the coast.
Sunderland's RNLI Lifeboat Station was called out just after 9.10pm yesterday to help the 10m-long yacht when it suffered a mechanical failure south east of the harbour.
A spokesman for the volunteer team said: "The yacht's main engine had lost all propulsion and it's small auxillary engine was unable to cope due to the 1m swell.
"The volunteer crew took the yacht and its crew - two men and a dog - in tow before returning it safely to Sunderland Marina where they were met by local Coastguard Officers."
A spokesman for Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team added: "The team monitored the casualty vessel as it was towed to Sunderland Marina by Sunderland RNLI Atlantic lifeboat.
"The breakdown caused as a result of a propeller malfunction.
"Crew met on arrival and suitable advice provided."