Charity rowers towed to safety after getting into difficulty off the Farnes

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A charity rowing boat with a crew of four was rescued after running into trouble 12 miles out to sea east of the Farne Islands in the middle of the night.

The rowers, who had left from Amble, had radioed the Coastguard for help, as they were struggling make any headway against the tide and were having trouble with their steering apparatus. Weather conditions were also deteriorating.

At three minutes past midnight this morning, Humber Coastguard requested the launch of Seahouses All Weather Lifeboat to go to the assistance of the 10m vessel, approximately 12.5 miles off Seahouses. A passing cargo vessel had also responded and was standing by until the lifeboat arrived.

Seahouses All Weather Lifeboat RNLB Grace Darling, under command of coxswain mechanic John Hanvey launched at 00.14hrs and was alongside the casualty 36 minutes later. A tow was established, and the vessel was taken to Seahouses and moored up for the night.

The occupants were taken to the lifeboat station and given warm drinks. A relative was called to collect the rowers, who thanked the Seahouses lifeboat crew for their swift response and assistance.

Seahouses Lifeboat operations manager Ian Clayton said: “These lads were obviously training for a much longer row to raise money for charity, but the strong tidal flow and steering problems defeated them. At least they had the good sense to call for assistance before the situation worsened.”