A Redcar fishing trip led to a freak accident that threw both men into the North Sea without lifejackets
Humber coastguard has warned boatowners not to attempt non-routine engine repairs at sea, after a freak accident led to a father and son being thrown into the water and circled by their fishing boat.
Neil and Daniel Westmoreland set off on a fishing trip off Redcar this weekend (14 June) with a brand new 135hp outboard fitted.
When gutting their catch the men decided to take off their lifejackets and put on waders.
Upon restarting the outboard to head back to shore, Neil noticed a spluttering noise coming from the engine and set it to full throttle in an attempt to fix the problem.
When the engine sprang into life and the boat accelerated, both Neil and Daniel were thrown into the North Sea without their lifejackets.
The boat circled the men for 40 minutes until it ran out of fuel, at which point Daniel was able to climb back on board and radio for help.
Redcar RNLI volunteer Cameron Bond and his son Jordan were first to the scene, having been crabbing nearby when the call went out.
With the help of Humber coastguard, Neil was pulled out of the water, conscious but shaking violently and unable to speak.
Both men were transferred to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and treated for hypothermia.
Neil later paid tribute to the volunteers who saved him, telling the Northern Echo: “I owe my life to the RNLI.
“If the off-duty volunteer hadn’t got there when he did I don’t think I would have lasted much longer.”
Graham Dawson, watch manager at Humber coastguard, has urged all boatowners to always wear a lifejacket when at sea, adding:
“If your boat breaks down at sea, and repairing it is not a routine job, please call the coastguard, so that we can get the resources to you to help.”