A NORTH-EAST lifeboat was launched at about 2pm today to go to the assistance of a small fishing boat which had broken down in poor visibility.

The crew of the Atlantic 75 class Redcar RNLI lifeboat Leicester Challenge 2 found the disabled craft, with three people on board, about 200 metres north of the pier at Saltburn.

Volunteer helmsman Mark Reeves said: "It was a fairly straightforward job but the weather wasn't very pleasant.

"There was a lot of drizzle and mist so visibility was a problem."

The boat, approximately five metres in length, was towed back to Paddy's Hole in the mouth of the River Tees.

The owner of the craft is from Billingham.