Sea search for missing angler

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The Independent Online

A major search was launched today for an angler who may have been swept into the sea.

The 39-year-old man went missing while fishing from the end of Tynemouth North Pier in North Tyneside in the early hours.

A friend who was fishing with him fell asleep between 2am and 3am and when he woke up his colleague was nowhere to be seen, although his fishing gear was still in place.

The Police Marine Unit is now searching the area and the Tynemouth all-weather and inshore lifeboats have been launched.

Cullercoats lifeboat has also joined the search.

Search teams including beach lifeguards, the Volunteer Life Brigade and the Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team are scouring the shoreline.

Ian Born, duty watch manager for Humber Coastguard, said: "We are very concerned for the safety of this man.

"The sea temperature at this time is around 12 degrees and time immersed in such temperatures means limited survivability.

"There is 10 knots of wind with a one metre swell locally.

"We have no evidence he has gone into the water at this time, but we can't afford to take that risk."