Four people have been hauled to safety after the boat they were on sank in Tyne Harbour yesterday

Four people have been hauled to safety after the 14ft Fletcher they were on sank in Tyne Harbour yesterday.

A member of the public alerted the coastguard to the incident shortly after 6pm yesterday. Tynemouth RNLI inshore lifeboat was immediately launched and found four people on the rocks near the Groyne, South Shields.

RNLI volunteer helmsman, Jill McCormick, said, “The boatowner suddenly started taking on water shortly after they left South Shields Sailing Club’s slipway. They managed to get close to the Groyne and jumped onto the rocks on the riverbank and managed to keep hold of a rope attached to the boat, which was almost completely under water.

“We don’t know why the boat sank but the skipper acted quickly and made sure all on board were quickly out of danger.”

Weather conditions were described as “extremely windy” and may have led to the boat hitting a rock, although this has not been confirmed. The boat’s VHF also went overboard during the incident.

After the rescue the four occupants of the boat, a 45-year-old man, his 16-year-old son and two teenage friends, walked to the nearby sailing club, while the RNLI lifeboat towed the boat back to the slipway.

Photo: Adrian Don/RNLI