A teenager who went missing while trying to swim across the River Wear was pulled to safety yesterday [Mon] in a dramatic rescue.
The alarm was raised at about 2am when a concerned teenager rang from the Quayside to report his friend missing in the water near the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland RNLI inshore lifeboat and MCA Coastguard Rescue team were scrambled along with Northumbria Police's helicopter, fire crews and paramedics.
Sunderland RNLI senior helmsman Paul Nicholson said: "Initial reports were that this teenager had attempted to swim from the north to the south side of the river.
"After losing sight of him, his friend then dialled 999 and reported the incident to the police, who in turn contacted Humber Coastguard."
The police helicopter was able to spot the stranded teenager who was clinging to a mud bank next to Liebherr Cranes. [correct]
Two RNLI volunteers used the light cast by the helicopter to locate the youth and lift him safely into Liebherr Crane's yard where paramedics were waiting to treat him.
The teenager, believed to be 18 or 19-years-old, was later taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital for treatment. Mr Nicholson added: "It is unclear why the teenager attempted to swim across the river.
"He is extremely fortunate that his friend was able to contact the emergency services to allow us to react as quickly as we did.
"All of the units involved pulled together as one team, to bring this incident to a successful conclusion."