Fishermen spark fears of person in the sea after scaling Roker Pier gates
A search of Roker Pier was launched after concerns someone was in the sea during bitter conditions last night.
Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team joined officers from Northumbria Police at the pier at 8.35pm last night after reports a person could be in the water after someone was seen scaling the gates.A spokesman for the Coastguard team said: "On arrival we met with the first informant and officers from Northumbria Police and began a search of the pier.
"We were backed up by South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade (SSVLB) and the inshore lifeboat fromRNLI - Sunderland Lifeboat Station."It was soon established that the individual and another person were actually fisherman who had scaled the gates and there was no person in the water."They were removed from the pier by police officers who took details for further investigation."A reminder when the pier gates are locked the pier is closed and accessing the pier when it's closed could lead to prosecution under the Port of Sunderland bylaws."
The service has issued advice that people should call 999 in all coastal emergencies.
The incident comes just days after Sunderland City Council's cabinet secretary, Councillor Mel Speding, issued a plea for people to stay away from the pier after the storm caused damage.
The storms have battered the structure and left railings broken and bent.
On Friday, Coun Speding said: "Roker Pier remains closed to the public, and we will only be able to fully assess any structural storm damage caused by the extreme weather conditions and heavy seas once it is safe to do so.
"In the past when the pier has been closed due to weather conditions we have had problems with some people climbing over the gates, but we cannot emphasise enough how dangerous this is.”
A section of the North Pier has collapsed due to the weather conditions.