The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Ernest Gibson, jumped overboard near South Shields this weekend as part of a lifeboat demonstration.
The crew of the Spirit of Northumberland lifeboat then managed to successfully retrieve him in yesterday’s exercise.
Adrian Don, a spokesman for the Tynemouth RNLI, said: “Councillor Gibson appeared to enjoy every minute of the experience and even volunteered to jump in to the sea for a second time, to be recovered by the crew of our inshore lifeboat, before being returned to dry land.”
The body of a woman has been pulled from the sea close to the Tyne piers.
Tynemouth RNLI were called out at about 12.30 on Wednesday afternoon after a member of the public contacted the coastguard to say they had seen a body in the River Tyne close to South Shields pier.
A rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer winched the body, thought to be that of a woman in her 40s, from the lifeboat and took it to Newcastle's RVI hospital. Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat, said: "Our volunteer crew pulled a female casualty from the water.
"The crew started first aid although she was unfortunately showing no signs of life.
"The casualty was winched onboard the RAF helicopter where the winchman, a trained paramedic, would have continued first aid until she was passed into the care of hospital medics."