A FATHER and son had lucky escapes when a freak engine accident threw them into the sea from their boat - which then roared off at top speed.
The pair were fishing some three miles off Redcar earlier today (June 14) when their outboard engine broke down.
As they tried to fix it, the engine restarted in gear and set to full speed - throwing both into the water.
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The fishing boat then circled the two men - neither of whom were wearing lifejackets - for 40 minutes until it ran out of fuel.
The younger man, in his 20s, was then able to climb back into the boat and send out a Mayday distress call at around 12.30pm.
Meanwhile, his dad had been swept nearly a quarter of mile away from the boat by the tide.
The Redcar RNLI lifeboat was immediately launched but as it was heading to the scene, a nearby fishing boat Nimrod II, with RNLI volunteer Cameron Bond and his son Jordan on board, also responded.
Cameron found the man in the water about 300 yards away from his boat.
‘When we pulled the man from the sea he was shaking violently and he couldn’t speak," he said.
‘I knew from my RNLI training that I had to get the guy back to the beach as fast as I could so the crew from the lifeboat station could give him first aid.
When Cameron arrived back at the beach at Redcar, RNLI crew members were waiting to give the man first aid before carrying him to an ambulance.
Meanwhile, the Redcar lifeboat had reached the scene and found the son on board suffering from the effects of being in the sea.
He was taken on board the lifeboat and given first aid while the lifeboat made full-speed for the lifeboat station.
He was also taken to the ambulance where both men were treated by ambulance staff for hypothermia before being transferred to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough.
The Redcar lifeboat then returned again to the scene to tow the fishing boat back to Redcar where lifeboat volunteers made the boat safe on its trailer.
A passing warship also responded to the request for assistance
Dave Cocks from Redcar RNLI said: ‘The two men have had an extremely lucky escape. There have been some tragic accidents involving boats when people are thrown into the sea and the boat’s engine keeps going.
‘It was extremely fortunate that one of our own lifeboat crew members was at sea fishing when the Mayday went out. He was quickly on scene to rescue the man from the water, otherwise it could have been tragic.
‘When the lifeboat got there they were able to give the other man the first aid he needed while he was being brought back to the beach at Redcar.
‘Both men really owe a lot to the RNLI’s training on this occasion.’