Police have launched an investigation after a man died on board the Brasschaat cargo ship moored off the coast of North Tyneside.

An investigation is now underway after a man fell from height onto the deck of the Brasschaat cargo ship, anchored off Whitley Bay in North Tyneside.

Humber Coastguard received a distress call from the vessel at just after 1400 on 2o October, 2016.

The Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat crew were deployed to transport three paramedics from the North East Ambulance Service to the ship.

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 912 was also tasked and arrived on scene soon after, having picked up a doctor at Durham Tees Valley airport en route from their Humberside airport base.

Despite the best efforts of the paramedics, the man died from his injuries.

The 180-metre Brasschatt then docked at Northumbrian Quay, where police boarded to start their investigation.

In a statement, the Northumberland Police said: “At 3:37pm on Thursday, October 20, police received a report from the coastguard of the death of a man on a ship at sea near to Tynemouth.”

“The body of a young seaman, a Ukraine national, has been recovered and brought to North Shields on Friday, October 21. It would appear he has fallen from a height onto the deck of the ship and sustained fatal injuries,” continued the statement.

“Police, coastguard, maritime authorities and shipping company representatives are working together to establish how this death occurred,” it added.

The man’s family in the Ukraine have been informed and are being supported by the shipping company.

Police enquiries are ongoing while a report is being prepared for the coroner.

The Brasschaat is one of three ships that has been anchored off Tynemouth for a number of months.

Dubbed ‘ghost ships’ by some of the local residents, the vessels are under Bernhard Schulte Ship management, after their owner, Sobelmar Antwerp N.V. filed for bankruptcy in March 2015.

The ships are waiting to be auctioned off.