A fisherman died at the weekend after he was seriously injured at North Shields Fish Quay.
The man had fallen and become trapped between the quay wall and a fishing vessel in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Tynemouth RNLI recovered the from the water and he was treated at the scene by paramedics, but later died in hospital.
Police said the Maritime Investigation Board will be carrying out an inquiry into the incident.
Adrian Don, from Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station, said: “The casualty had been in the water for some time and had suffered head injuries.
“Once on the scene, a volunteer RNLI crew member swam between the dock wall and the trawler where the man was trapped and got him closer to the lifeboat into which he was recovered.
“He was then passed into the care of paramedics who took him to hospital.”