Two people and their would-be rescuer have been taken to hospital following a dramatic rescue at Seaton Sluice, near Blyth, this afternoon.
The duo had entered the water in a seven-foot inflatable dinghy, but they were soon blown out to sea by the force three westerly wind blowing in the area.
A man tried to swim out to help them, however he got into difficulties.
Quick-thinking members of the public alerted the coastguard and the Blyth Coastguard Rescue Team that was training nearby was quickly on the scene, followed by members of the Blyth Lifeguards service and jet skiers Roger Nicholson, Paddy Gillooly and Lee Renney, who had been alerted to the incident by beach lifeguards.
The coastguard team and lifeguards administered first aid to the first casualty before the men on two jet skis, all members of the Blyth Personal Watercraft (Jet Ski) Club who had been enjoying themselves two miles down the beach, arrived to get the two casualties from the dinghy and return them to shore.
The three casualties were suffering from cold and one of them had swallowed a quantity of sea water. They were all taken to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital near Cramlington by ambulance.
The coastguards then destroyed the dinghy.
Paddy said: “We were just having some fun with our jet skis when a lifeguard came running up to us asking if we could go to Seaton Sluice and help in the rescue.
“We then turned our skis around and headed up the beach at full power to lend assistance.
“When we got there, there were two people in an inflatable dinghy drifting out to sea and they were trying to pump it up as it was leaking.
“We pulled them onto the skis and took them to the rescue teams on the beach.”