TWO anglers who became cut off by the tide while sea fishing from rocks on the North-East coast were rescued by a lifeboat crew early today.

An inshore lifeboat from Sunderland RNLI was launched to go to the aid of the fishermen who were stranded as the tide came in, near Whitburn Point Nature Reserve.

The two men made an emergency call to the Humber Coastguard when they found themselves cut off by the rapidly rising tide and were unable to return to the beach.

A D-Class inshore lifeboat, MyJo, was launched shortly after 1.30am into what were described as calm sea conditions, with a slight swell and good visibility.

Within ten minutes the crew arrived at the scene and helped the stranded fishermen into the lifeboat.

It took them safely back to Seaburn beach, where they were met by members of Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team to check on their well-being.

RNLI volunteer helmsman Paul Nicholson said: “Thankfully, the two fishermen raised the alarm when they did.

“The rock they were fishing from would have been totally submersed if they had delayed making the emergency 999 call, as high tide wasn’t until just before 5am.”

He added that people should consult a tide timetable and be aware of the tidal conditions when taking part in activities along the coast.