RNLI volunteers from Redcar and Hartlepool pulled the man from the water on Saturday after he was swept off his feet

A fisherman was rescued by the RNLI on Saturday after being washed into the sea by heavy waves.

Volunteers from Redcar and Hartlepool were involved in the rescue following the incident off South Gare breakwater.

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The alarm was raised around 3.40pm after the man was swept off his feet into the North Sea by high tides.

Hartlepool’s RNLI crew was able to locate the man and pull him from the water, reporting that he was breathing, but barely conscious.

Both lifeboats then raced to the Harbour Master’s landing at Tee Dock where the casualty was transferred to a waiting ambulance.

Redcar RNLI lifeboat operations manager Dave Cocks said: “This was an extremely difficult rescue. We’re at the point of some very high tides and there were strong winds. The crews reported seas up to four metres in height.

“It is only by good fortune that he was found so quickly by the Hartlepool crew. They were at sea training on their new lifeboat, so they were able to find and rescue the man very quickly.

“The North Sea is at its coldest about now and he could easily have been badly injured or killed if the rough seas had thrown him against the rocks or the breakwater.

“As far as I’m concerned he owes his life to the Hartlepool RNLI crew.”