A sinking fishing boat sparked a major rescue mission off the coast on Saturday afternoon.
The Rachel Jayne was taking on water and sinking 26 miles north east of the Tynemouth Piers, and the crew were also reported to be abandoning the vessel to their liferaft.
The RAF rescue helicopter based at RAF Boulmer and Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat were tasked the scene.
As the RNLI lifeboat arrived the four crew had just been winched from the liferaft to the RAF helicopter and flown to hospital.
Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station, said: “We’re pleased that the four fishermen were rescued and are safely ashore as this could easily have become a tragedy.”