Volunteer lifesavers from Tynemouth rescued a man today after he fell into the River Tyne at Jarrow while working on a boat.
The alarm was raised at 10am when the man’s friend, who was on the river bank, heard him shouting for help and found him in the water clinging to a mooring rope.
Humber Coastguard immediately requested the launch of Tynemouth RNLI inshore lifeboat which sped to the scene. The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade (TVLB), fire service and paramedics were also tasked to the incident.
Arriving at the scene, the three volunteer lifeboat crew members quickly found the man, who was still holding on to the mooring rope. He was brought on board the lifeboat and passed into the care of the TVLB who were waiting close by, next to the southern entrance to the Tyne Pedestrian Tunnel, and then treated by paramedics.
The lifeboat crew then located the small dinghy that the casualty had used to get to his boat, and took it to shore. The lifeboat was then stood down and returned to station.
Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI, said: “It is thought that the man, aged approximately 35, had been transferring a generator onto his boat using the much smaller dinghy and had somehow fallen into the water.
“He was not wearing a life jacket and this incident could easily have ended in tragedy. He was lucky as he managed to hold on to the mooring line in the cold water for almost ten minutes.
“The RNLI aims to reduce coastal drownings in the UK by half and strongly recommends that anyone going on or near the water, either at sea or inland, should wear a life jacket. Comprehensive water safety information can be found at rnli.org/safety.”