A sea captain suffered a head injury as his stricken trawler hit a pier, sparking a rescue operation.
It happened shortly after 6.30am when the Grenaa Star vessel collided with the south Tyne pier.
Humber Coastguard requested the launch of Tynemouth RNLI all weather and inshore lifeboats after being told of the incident by the Port of Tyne Vessel Traffic Services.
The 18m, 46tonne vessel had begun taking in water and was in need of immediate assistance. The skipper had managed to get close to Little Haven beach, South Shields, where it became grounded.
Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat arrived at the scene just a minute after launching and, after the situation was assessed, two crew members took a salvage pump onto the sinking boat and began to pump her out.
A second pump was then placed on board.
Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team were also at the scene, keeping watch from shore, as Humber Coastguard monitored the operation.
The vessel’s skipper suffered a head injury and was taken off his vessel by a police boat and then to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for treatment. The two remaining crew members of the Grenaa Star then shut down the fuel supply to prevent pollution.
At low tide, it was decided that the pumping was making no difference as the vessel was settled on the river bed, and was so badly damaged that she would be unlikely to refloat on the high tide.
RNLI crew members then fastened the vessel’s anchor to the beach to prevent any chance of her drifting and transferred the two fishermen onto the lifeboat, which took them to safety at North Shields Fish Quay, arriving at 9.30am.
Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station, said: “The Grenaa Star had suffered major damage to her bow after colliding with the pier and was quickly taking on water. Her skipper had sustained a cut to his head.
“When the lifeboats arrived on scene the vessel was low in the water, drifting, and her keel was just touching the riverbed.
“The volunteer lifeboat crew pumped water out of the vessel for as long as possible before the boat was completely grounded and then took the remaining two fishermen to safety.”