A BODY was discovered lying in mud on the banks of the Wear.
A passer-by spotted the man lying at the edge of the river, near Ferryboat Lane in Sunderland.
Volunteers from Sunderland RNLI helped lift the body onto the lifeboat before taking the unidentified man to South Hylton slipway, at 11.30am on Saturday.
The body was then handed over to paramedics from the North East Ambulance Service.
Paul Nicholson, helmsman at Sunderland RNLI, said: “These types of incident are always difficult for our volunteers to deal with.
“But it is something which they train for to ensure that the task is carried out in a safe and respectful manner.
“We worked closely with the police officers at the scene to ensure that the correct procedures were followed, to allow their investigation to take place once the body was taken ashore.”
Police said the man has not yet been identified.
There is believed to be no third party involvement and a report is being prepared for the coroner.
In Durham City, fire-fighters helped rescue a man who had fallen into the River Wear.
Crews were called to the river near Milburngate, along with a water rescue crew, at 12.30am on Sunday, before helping him from the water.
He was then given first aid before being taken to hospital.