An investigation has been launched after the body of a man was found in water off Sunderland seafront.
A rescue attempt was sparked at about 2pm yesterday after clothes were spotted on Seaburn Beach and a man was seen in the water.
Ambulances and the Great North Air Ambulance’s helicopter attended the scene to try to save him.
Lifeguards from Sunderland RNLI used a jet ski to search for the man and found him “some distance” outside of the area of the sea that they usually patrol.
After being brought ashore, CPR was administered to the man, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
He has not yet been named by the authorities.
One witness, a man aged 42, was down at the seafront at the time of the incident and saw the drama unfold.
He told the Echo: “I just saw the ambulances and then the helicopter at about 2.30pm.
“It looked like a lifeguard on a jet ski went into the water to get him.
“Then he was taken away.”
A spokeswoman for Sunderland RNLI said: “RNLI lifeguards at Seaburn beach were alerted to a missing person at around 2pm on Wednesday.
“The lifeguards conducted a beach and sea search, using an RNLI jet ski, and found the casualty in the water some distance outside the patrolled area.
“They took the casualty to the beach and administered first aid and CPR until the ambulance, police and air ambulance arrived.
“Paramedics continued resuscitation attempts but the man was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
Police officers are now trying to establish how the man came to be in the water and have appealed for witnesses to contact them on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference number 541 190815.