A new piece of rescue equipment given to Blyth's volunteer-run lifeboat service has already proved its worth.
The salvage pump - donated by local company Lord Tool Hire - helped save a yacht from sinking within five days of it being installed on the town's independent lifeboat, Abbie Dean's Spirit of Blyth and Wansbeck.
The Honda pump was used when the lifeboat crew went to the aid of the yacht Ida Marie, which was in danger of sinking at its mooring in Blyth Harbour after a bilge pump malfunctioned.
Lifeboat members used it to pump several thousands of gallons of water from the 38ft vessel in Wednesday's rescue.
Yesterday John Tuttiett, spokesman for the Blyth Volunteer Lifeboat Service, said: "It was quite a coincidence that a new piece of equipment was put to almost instant use by our crew. We were only given the pump the previous Friday and the crew had carried out a training exercise with it that weekend. When we received the call for assistance from the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club, we knew straight away that our new kit was to be tested to the full."
Lord Tool Hire spokesman John Tweedy said: "It is very good news that the new equipment was put to such good use so quickly."
The company donated the pump after being approached by Barry Elliott, the local Blyth businessman who loaned BVLS the money to buy the lifeboat.