Tynemouth RNLI inshore and all weather lifeboats were paged to launch at 22.53 by Humber Coastguard after they received a report that an angler had seen a full-dressed man walk into the sea near to Marsden Grotto, South Tyneside.
Arriving at the scene just five minutes after launching the lifeboat crews commenced a search of the sea in the area and also launched the all weather lifeboat’s inflatable ‘Y’ boat with two crew as an additional resource.
The lifeboats were joined in the search, coordinated throughout by Humber Coastguard, by helicopters from Northumbria Police and RAF Boulmer, and on land members of Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team and South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade.
After the search had continued for nearly three hours no trace of the man had been seen and Coastguards reluctantly stood down the search units at 02.30, with the intention of reassessing the situation in the morning, and possibly restarting the search.
However, at 05.35 officers from Northumbria Police discovered the body of a man 600m from where the man was seen to enter the water and in the light of that information it was decided no more searches would be carried out.
Formal identification of the man had not yet taken place but Police believe this is the same man seen to enter the water.