Lifeboat crew rescue teens from dinghy near Hartlepool beach

TOWED TO SAFETY: Hartlepool RNLI's inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat Solihull with the stricken dinghy.

TOWED TO SAFETY: Hartlepool RNLI's inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat Solihull with the stricken dinghy.

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HARTLEPOOL’S RNLI volunteers came to the rescue when three teenagers in a wooden dinghy got into difficulties.

Crewmembers were called out for the third day in a row by HM Humber Coastguard to go to the assistance of an 8ft-long wooden dinghy, that had got into difficulties off Middleton beach today.

The call was received at 2.46pm with a report that a wooden boat with three youths on board had lost power off Middleton beach.

Hartlepool RNLI’s Atlantic 85 Solihull was launched at 3pm and was quickly on scene. The dinghy was located about 800 metres from the shore and was drifting farther out to sea with the wind and the current.

Volunteer crewmembers threw the stricken dinghy a line and pulled it alongside the lifeboat. The three teenagers were taken onto the lifeboat and were checked to make sure they were OK.

The lifeboat then towed the dinghy alongside the lifeboat towards the beach.

When the lifeboat got close enough to the shore, Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crewmember, Gavin Heaton, jumped into the water and pulled the dinghy up onto the beach with the three teenagers on board. They then pulled their dinghy onto the safety of the beach.

Volunteer helm, Mark Barker, said: “We strongly advise anyone going to sea to have their boat and equipment maintained on a regular basis to avoid putting lives at risk.

“This was a routine exercise for our volunteer crewmembers as we train weekly to be able to help save lives at sea.”