A LONE fisherman was rescued this morning after his boat broke down in one of the UK's busiest shipping lanes.

The Redcar RNLI lifeboat Leicester Challenge 2 was called out just after 8am when the skipper of the 35ft fishing coble, from Middlesbrough, reported to Humber Coastguard that his craft had suffered engine failure and was drifting across the main shipping lane of the River Tees, one of the UK's busiest ports.

Dave Cocks, Deputy Launching Authority at Redcar RNLI, said: "The skipper of the coble did exactly the right thing. He dropped his anchor and called for help. Unfortunately his anchor didn't take hold and he was being blown across the shipping channel towards the north side of the river.

"Fortunately this incident happened in daylight and there were no large ship movements in the river at the time, otherwise the outcome could have been very different."

The broken-down craft towed back to its mooring at Paddy's Hole, South Gare.