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."