The crew of a fishing boat blocked emergency radio frequencies for hours as they watched an erotic film.
The crew of the Blyth-based Oceania accidentally left their radio switched to the emergency channel on Thursday as they were off the North East coast.
They then settled down to watch the film Crash on a TV which was next to the radio - not realising it was being broadcast over a 30-mile radius.
A lifeboat from Berwick was dispatched to alert the crew to their mistake.
Frantic coastguards contacted Channel Four to broadcast an urgent message during the film.
But the lifeboat crew from Berwick managed to reach the vessel before the message was broadcast.
Humber Coastguard said it was lucky the incident happened during a quiet period and at night.
A spokesman also said it was fortunate that sea conditions were relatively calm.
He said: "This should serve as a warning to others to be careful with their emergency radio switches."
The skipper of the Oceania, George Mair, said he had apologised for the error.
He said he had inadvertently jammed a clock radio into the switch that opened the emergency radio channel.
He said although the film was on in the background, he was busy working on the boat at the time.
The controversial film Crash, starring Holly Hunter and James Spader, tells the story of people who gain sexual gratification from car crashes.