At 14.05 on Saturday, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) received a call from a member of the public reporting an inflatable dinghy containing two adults and a child in difficulty at Tyne Green, Hexham.
NFRS deployed three fire engines from Hexham and Haydon Bridge and two swift water specialist teams to the scene. North East Ambulance Service paramedics and Northumbria Police also attended the incident.
On arrival it was apparent that an inflatable boat, which had been out on the River North Tyne had become precariously perched with its occupants on the weir under the bridge at Tyne Green.
The crews set up a combination of up-river spotters to identify and control any river hazards that could make the incident worse as well as teams down river and a rescue area near the bridge.
Les Embleton, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service group manager, said: “Our swift water rescue teams entered the water and set up the inflatable powered rescue boat and specialist rescue equipment to carry out a successful rescue. All three people in the dinghy were rescued by NFRS officers and handed over to paramedics. They were then taken to hospital by paramedics for precautionary check-ups. NFRS recovered the boat for the family and the incident concluded at 15.05.”
Group manager Embleton added: “Incidents like this show how easily conditions can change and situations worsen. We would like to urge all recreational water users to make sure they have the right safety equipment before entering the water. People should also be fully aware of the potential dangers on each stretch of water they are in. It is always a good idea to get some safety training to ensure that you can fully enjoy activities on or in the water.”
More information about water safety can be found on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident (ROSPA) website at www.rospa.com/leisuresafety/default.aspx