Two men have been pulled from the water and airlifted to hospital after capsizing approximately a mile east of Amble Harbour.
Humber Coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public just after 12.30pm on Friday, who had spotted two kayakers in trouble.
The Amble Coastguard Rescue Team, the Amble RNLI inshore and all-weather lifeboats and the search and rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer were sent to the scene.
Venture, a fishing boat returning to the harbour, spotted the two men in the water, having both capsized from their kayaks, and the crew threw in a lifebelt.
Meanwhile, a member of the public had spotted them from the shore and notified the coastguard.
The inshore lifeboat, Mildred Holcroft, was first on the scene and rescued the pair, who were very cold and showing symptoms of moderate to severe hypthermia of hypothermia. Neither was wearing a lifejacket.
They were transferred to the all-weather lifeboat, The Four Boys, and from there were winched on board the helicopter and flown to Wansbeck General Hospital.
The lifeboats recovered the kayaks.
Graham Dawson, Watch Manager at Humber Coastguard, said: “It’s believed these two men were in the water for at least 15 minutes. They were taken to hospital showing signs of hypothermia. One of them was wearing a track suit and t-shirt and the other had an orange survival suit on but it was open to the waist. Neither were wearing lifejackets. We always recommend that kayakers check weather and tidal conditions before setting out, and make sure you can handle them. Wear a buoyancy aid and appropriate clothing. It’s a good idea to carry with you a VHF marine band radio, fitted with DSC if possible, so you can contact the Coastguard on channel 16 if you get into difficulty.”
RNLI volunteer coxswain John Connell was pleased with the outcome of the rescue
He aid: “It was fortunate for the two casualties to have been spotted in the water early, otherwise the outcome could well have been tragic.”