THE crew of a fishing boat had a lucky escape today after it was spotted disabled in breaking seas by an off-duty Redcar RNLI volunteer.

At about 10.40am, Redcar RNLI crewmember Cameron Bond saw the 16ft fishing boat in difficulties at East Scar, opposite Zetland Park, Redcar.

He raised the alarm and then helped crew the lifeboat that rescued the stricken craft.

Mr Bond said "The boat was obviously in danger where it was.

"The sea was breaking over the boat as the crew tried to start the engine."

By the time the Redcar lifeboat had launched the crew of the fishing boat had managed to restart the engine - only for it to break down again as the lifeboat arrived.

Lifeboat helmsman Andy Beevis said "The crew of the fishing boat have had a very lucky escape.

"Although the weather wasn't bad the spot where they had broken down is very dangerous.

"They were in an area of the rocks called Jenny Leighs and the sea was breaking over the boat. It could easily have been much worse for the crew.

"Luckily they managed to get the engine restarted and they were able to find a way out of the rocks and they escaped being completely swamped.

"If it hadn't been one of our own crew who spotted them, the danger of their situation might not have been realised so quickly and the outcome could have been very different."

The broken down boat was towed to the beach at Redcar.