Lifeboat launched over fears for surfer.
A SURFER sparked a rescue mission in rough seas off the North East coast.
Both Tynemouth RNLI lifeboats were launched on Sunday afternoon after a concerned member of the public rang the coastguard to report a surfer getting into trouble off the notorious Black Midden rocks, at Tynemouth.
At around 3.10pm, the all-weather and inshore lifeboats, with a total of 10 volunteer crew members, were scrambled to the scene, just a short distance from the lifeboat station.
Members of the shore-based Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade (TVLB) were also tasked to assist.
As the lifeboats arrived on scene, they started to search for the person and, after a few minutes, a surfer with his board was seen to be making his way out of the water onto the rocks.
The lifeboat crews kept searching in case anyone else was in the water.
As the man came closer to the sea wall he confirmed to the TVLB that no one else was in the water.
Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat, said: "The passer-by that contacted the coastguard was absolutely right to do so. Condi-tions at the Black Middens were dangerous, with strong winds and heavy seas breaking over the rocks.
"Thankfully the surfer returned to shore unharmed, but this could easily have become a tragedy.
"We would never recommend anyone going into the sea here in these conditions, no matter how confident they are of their own abilities."
<BA man surfing in rough sea conditions sparked a rescue mission at the mouth of the Tyne. Right, the surfer reaches the promenade