FLORAL tributes have been laid close to the spot where the body of a dog owner was pulled from the sea.
The bouquets have been left on Hendon promenade in honour of Alex Hardy, who went missing in the water on Monday at 4pm after he and his partner went in after their pet.
His body was recovered yesterday morning from the beach close to Ocean Road in Grangetown as the search resumed for him, and a report is now being prepared for the coroner.
Mr Hardy, 32, from Stockton, had been on the seafront with his girlfriend when their dog ran into the sea.
The couple went in after it, but got into difficulty. The woman was rescued by an RNLI crew shortly after the first emergency call was made.
She was taken to hospital by ambulance where she was treated for hypothermia.
The dog is said to have made its own way back to the coast.
The search had been called off at about 8.15pm when the light began to fail.
James Jamieson, operations manager at Sunderland RNLI, said: “Our thoughts are very much with the casualties and their friends and family.”
A spokesman for Humber Coastguard said: “Eyewitnesses who called 999 said they believed the two people went into the water after their dog, who had got into trouble in the water.
“The lifeboat crew had just finished another incident to the north of Hendon when the call came in, so they couldn’t have got there any quicker.”