A drunk man swimming in the Tyne harbour sparked the launch of Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat and tasking of other emergency services early on Tuesday morning.
Humber Coastguard received a call from a concerned member of the public about the man swimming off the Fish Quay Sands, North Shields at 06:35 and immediately requested the launch of Tynemouth RNLI inshore lifeboat.
The lifeboat launched soon after the volunteer crew was paged and sped the short distance from the lifeboat station round to the beach where the swimmer was quickly found in the water by the three crew members. The man was inebriated and initially refused to return to shore but with a few strong words from the lifeboat crew he was persuaded to return back to the beach for his own safety, where he was met by members of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade who were tasked to assist from shore.
The TVLB kept watch over the man who refused to leave the water as he was naked, but once paramedics arrived he was wrapped in a thermal blanket and taken to an ambulance for assessment.
As the casualty was now safely on shore the lifeboat stood down and returned to station.
Two years ago a man sadly drowned in almost identical circumstances just a few yards away from this location.
The RNLI aims to half coastal drownings by 2024 and comprehensive advice about staying safe in and around water can be found at respectthewater.com