Lifeboat volunteers from Sunderland and Tynemouth RNLI Station were called into action today to assist a windsurfer who was in difficulty in the water at Seaburn.
The rescue mission was launched shortly after 12:45pm today when Coastguard officers received a 999 call reporting the windsurfer in distress off Seaburn beach.
Sunderland RNLI launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat and Tynemouth RNLI's boat was also diverted to attend the incident from South Shields where they had been involved in an earlier incident.
A shore based Coast Response Team from Sunderland Coastguard station was also tasked to the scene to assist from the shore.
Ian Rowan, helmsman at Sunderland RNLI said: "As we launched, wind speeds were gusting up to 60mph in an offshore direction, so we knew we had to locate the surfer as quickly as possible.’
As the emergency teams arrived at Seaburn they discovered that the surfer had been able to make his way back into shallow waters.
Mr Rowan added ‘Thankfully on this occasion everything ended without further incident. We encourage everyone talking part in water or coastal activities to check the weather forecast regularly and be aware of squally weather patterns when the wind speed can change drastically in a short period of time as it did today.".
The RNLI urges anyone going to sea to be especially careful in poor conditions and says information about staying safe at the coast can be found at www.rnli.org/respectthewater.