FIREFIGHTERS had to launch a rescue yesterday after five people became trapped on a fast-flowing river.
The three adults and two teenagers got into trouble when the rowing boat they were in became stuck on a concrete weir.
The boat was perched precariously over the edge of the weir at Tyne Green in Hexham, Northumberland.
It is believed the rowing boat, which was a long narrow style used for competitive racing, belonged to Hexham Rowing Club.
The club holds training sessions on the Tyne every Sunday morning and it is believed all five people in the boat were members of the club.
One of the two teenage boys had to be carried from the scene and was taken to hospital suffering from suspected hypothermia.
Firefighters and police were called by a member of the public at around 11.30am who had spotted the boat and its occupants in difficulty.
One of those who attended was Hexham watch manager Dave Duffy.
Mr Duffy called in specialist water rescue units to assist in the dramatic operation.
The unit used wires and ropes to secure the boat and the firefighters, who had to enter the cold and powerful water to reach the rowers.
Mr Duffy said: “The rowing boat had managed to get about half way across the weir. One end was up in the air. There were three adults in the boat and two boys who were in their teens.
“We’re not sure exactly how they came to be stuck on the weir, but the water was very high and flowing quickly. We called in our swift water rescue team.
“We have units based at Pegswood and a new unit at Hexham. They arrived and secured lines to the banks. We then had people go into the river with other lines and life jackets and return the occupants to the side.
“The water was very cold and with it being fast flowing it also helped to whip away any heat from the body. All five people were checked over by a waiting ambulance and one of the teenagers was taken to hospital with suspected hypothermia.”
No-one from the rowing club was available for comment last night.