A MAN was pulled from the river Tyne by a lifeboat crew from Tynemouth in the early hours of Sunday morning after he swam across the river.
The alarm was raised at 30 minutes past midnight when a man was seen to enter the river and start swimming from South Shields ferry landing.
Police requested assistance from Humber Coastguard who immediately requested the launch of Tynemouth RNLI inshore lifeboat.
Launching a few minutes later the lifeboat sped upriver with three volunteer crew members on board who started searching for the man. The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade were also tasked to assist in the search from shore.
As police officers on the north bank of the Tyne shone torches onto where they thought the man was, the lifeboat crew found him clinging to a ladder near to the North Shields ferry landing. He was brought onto the boat and rushed to the lifeboat station where he was wrapped in blankets. Paramedics arrived soon after and checked the man over, and after finding he was cold but didn't require any treatment, he was taken into custody by police officers.
Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station, said 'The man was aged around 30 and had actually managed to swim across the river along the approximate route of the Shields ferry.
'He was incredibly lucky to make it as there was little tide running in the river but had the current been faster it could have easily carried even the strongest swimmer away.
'We're just pleased that the man is safe and well but this could have become a tragedy'.
The RNLI aims to half coastal drownings by 2024 and information about staying safe in and around water can be found at rnli.org/respectthewater
For more information: Please contact Adrian Don, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07834 731833
Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station was established in 1862 although there have been lifeboats on the river Tyne since the world's first purpose built lifeboat was launched here in 1790. The station has 30 volunteer crew members who come from all walks of life. We operate two lifeboats: The Severn class all weather lifeboat Spirit of Northumberland and our D class inshore lifeboat Mark Noble. We have a website at www.tynemouth-lifeboat.org, and you can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/TynemouthRNLI or follow us on Twitter @TynemouthRNLI
Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland