The wedding reception of Cullercoats RNLI helmsman Ben Bradshaw and his new wife Kim was interrupted yesterday by a call-out to a stricken boat.
The wedding guests were just about to be served their meal and enjoy the speeches from the groom and best man at the nearby Grand Hotel in Tynemouth, when the volunteer crews’ pagers summoned them to launch the lifeboat.
Humber Coastguard requested the launch of the Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat at 3.23pm on Saturday, following a call about a broken down boat which had suffered engine failure two miles east of St Mary’s Lighthouse.
Three crew members immediately made their way from the reception party to the lifeboat station and were ready to launch within minutes.
Once at the stricken boat, which was drifting without power because of mechanical and electric failure, the lifeboat secured a tow rope and brought it back to the marina in the River Tyne.
Wedding guests watched the lifeboat return from their vantage point at the Grand Hotel.
Ninety minutes later, the crew returned to the hotel and a well-earned roast beef dinner to a rousing round of applause.
Speeches by groom Ben and best man Scott Jones were delayed until the volunteer crew returned, so nothing was missed.
Ben said: "We had a wonderful day, but unfortunately the pagers went off right as the guests were about to eat.
"The three crew who left didn’t hesitate to go and help in rescuing the people on that boat. We waited until they got back for the speeches, so I had another 90 minutes of nerves to wait before I could finally get it over with, but I’m glad they made it back in time to enjoy the rest of the reception."