Two fishermen have been rescued after spending nine hours aboard a life raft when their boat sank.
The pair had been fishing in the North Sea 12 miles east of Sunderland when their boat appeared to hit a submerged object, sinking so quickly they did not have time to make a distress call.
The pair were picked up by a Dutch yacht Jager at 4.40pm yesterday. The crew contacted Humber coastguard, which arranged for a lifeboat from Hartlepool to pick up the fishermen and bring them to shore.
Coastguard teams are now searching for the wreckage of the boat and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch has been informed.