Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Saturday, 21 June 2008 17:09 UK

Sea rescue drama at fishing event

Redcar RNLI lifeboat
Two Redcar lifeboat crews escorted boats to safety

A Teesside fishing competition held in memory of a drowned fisherman ended in drama when two boats capsized.

Five men, taking part in the Redcar Lifeboat Crew Trophy off Saltburn, were thrown overboard, when conditions turned treacherous.

Four made it ashore, but the fifth man, was airlifted to hospital with serious head injuries on Saturday afternoon.

The event was organised in memory of Jim Maidens, who died after being swept into the sea by a freak wave.

Redcar RNLI lifeboat crews were alerted shortly before midday after several boats tried to make it back to shore when the sea turned rough.

When rescuers arrived on the scene, the "Look Far" had already capsized, forcing its four male occupants to struggle to the shore.

Victim airlifted

The two RNLI crews then escorted five other boats to safety.

However a fifth man, who was in a separate boat, was airlifted to Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital, when his boat also capsized.

Redcar RNLI operations chief Dave Cammish said: "The event started this morning in quite favourable conditions, but as time went on the weather on the shoreline began to worsen.

"Most of the competitors decided to head for the shore, but the first to try ended up capsizing. Fortunately the four crew managed to swim ashore.

"It's not clear exactly what happened with the second boat - it seems to have been left behind and tried to return to shore later when it capsized."

In 1998, Local plumber Jim Maidens, aged 50, died in similar circumstances when he was swept overboard by a freak wave off the beach at Saltburn.


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