A massive rescue operation was launched last night after reports of a person in the water underneath the Queen Alexandra Bridge.
Following a two-hour search involving lifeboat crews, police, the coastguard, firefighters and ambulance staff, it was decided nothing more could be done.
A spokesman for the Humber Coastguard said they were originally alerted to reports of a male on the wrong side of the railings on the bridge and he then went into the water.
As well at the crews from Sunderland, rescue teams from South Shields and Seaham were also scrambled to help with the search.
A spokesman for Sunderland RNLI said they were called to the scene at 10.50pm last night.
He said: "Lifeboats launched following reports of a person entering the water underneath the Queen Alexandra Bridge.
"Seven RNLI volunteers worked alongside UK Coastguard rescue teams, police, ambulance and fire service to carry out a complete search for the missing person.
"After more than two hours of searching UK Coastguard terminated the search after it was decided the area had been searched fully and nothing further could be done.
"Our thoughts go out to the family of the missing person."
Emergency services were back in the area this morning.
Anyone who has any further information regarding this incident is urged to contact the police on 101.