The RNLI says the man is "lucky to be alive" after he attempted to go swimming in rough seas at Redcar and had to be rescued.

Redcar RNLI said it believed alcohol “played a part” after a man stripped to his underwear and tried to go swimming in rough seas.

The swimmer had to be rescued after entering the water approximately 100 metres east of the lifeboat station slipway.

He quickly got into difficulties and was carried by the current for around 200 metres before being washed inshore near the Dundas Street slipway.

There he was brought out of the sea by two other men.

UK Coastguard received multiple 999 calls at 3.55pm on 15 October, 2016 to report the man in difficulties.

The Redcar RNLI inshore lifeboat was tasked, together with a Coastguard helicopter and the Redcar Coastguard Rescue Team.

The lifeboat operations manager at Redcar RNLI,  Dave Cocks, said: “We were paged just before 4pm after UK Coastguard received a large number of 999 calls.”

“When our crew arrived they could see the man was being rescued by two other men, believed to have been with him at the time he went into the sea. The lifeboat crew attended to the man until an ambulance paramedic arrived to give the man treatment,” he continued.

The lifeboat and rescue helicopter were stood down and the man and one of his rescuers was taken by ambulance to hospital for checks.

“The man really is extremely lucky to be alive this afternoon,” stressed Cocks.

“The sea is very rough as a result of the strong winds we’ve had over the past few days, plus this happened right on high tide. We also believe alcohol has played a part in this incident,” said the operations manager.

The RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign highlights the effects of cold water on the body, particularly when alcohol has been consumed.

The charity said cold-water shock can stop the heart “no matter how fit you are, then steal the air from your lungs so you can’t cry for help.”

“The cold can paralyse your limbs in minutes, as the blood moves to your organs to keep them warm. And even if you’re a strong swimmer you can drown just a few metres from safety. Knowing the unpredictability of water could save your life,” stressed the RNLI.