The alarm was raised at 17:50 when Humber Coastguard received a report of woman entering the water near to Sambuca restaurant, close to Little Haven beach, South Shields.
The inshore lifeboat launched soon after and sped to the scene, where the three volunteer crew members found no trace of anyone in or near the water.
As the search progressed it appeared there was some confusion from the informant as to whether it was Sambuca at South Shields or North Shields fish quay so a member of the crew went by car the short distance to the latter, as the lifeboat also travelled back to search the river Tyne in that area.
After all efforts to locate anyone in any difficulty in both locations were exhausted, Humber Coastguard were satisfied that there was no-one in any danger and stood the lifeboat down, treating the incident as a false alarm, although not a hoax.
Lifeboat (relief): D-762 M & P Anderson-Vick