A member of the public made a 999 call to UK Coastguard at 12:30 reporting concerns over a man in the water just off the Herd Groyne breakwater, South Shields.
The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade were patrolling close to the area and after quickly relocating they confirmed a person was in the water.
The inshore lifeboat was requested by Humber Coastguard to launch immediately and as several crew members were at the lifeboat station and had heard the events unfolding over the marine VHF radio, the lifeboat was launched just a minute later.
As the lifeboat crew approached the scene, just a few hundred yards from the lifeboat station, they found the man in the water clinging to an upturned fishing kayak. Two canoeists had also come to his assistance.
The man, in his 40s, was brought onto the lifeboat and found to be unharmed so he and his kayak were taken to safety at the nearby slipway.
After ensuring the casualty was in the care of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade, the lifeboat crew returned to station.
Lifeboat: D-693 Mark Noble