A CAPSIZED jet ski sparked the launch of the Redcar RNLI lifeboat this evening.

Its rider was thrown into the sea after the jet ski was hit by a wave, close to the shore edge in Coatham Bay.

Strong offshore winds then blew it out to sea while the rider, a 36 year-old man from Dormanstown, near Redcar, scrambled back to shore without injury.

The call came at 5.45pm after a member of the public alerted Humber Coastguard.

Dave Cocks of Redcar RNLI said: "The rider was lucky that the capsize happened fairly close to the shore and there was still a bit of daylight left.

"The offshore wind is very strong at the moment and the sea temperature is dropping quickly.

"He would have had problems getting back to the beach if he had been further out.

"The engine was knocked out of action by the capsize so he would have had no chance of getting back to the beach under his own power. Searching for a person in the water is doubly difficult once darkness falls.'

The drifting jet ski was quickly located by the lifeboat crew and towed back to the beach.