Warning over jet skiers
Exclusive By Stuart Arnold
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COASTGUARD volunteers called off a search for 'missing' jet skiers after reports four people were in difficulty.

Tynemouth RNLI's inshore lifeboat was launched at 6.30pm on Sunday night after a call from anglers that four people were in trouble on two jet skis near South Shields beach, behind the south Tyne pier.

However the surf was too severe to conduct an effective search and Tynemouth RNLI's all weather lifeboat was launched in support.

The lifeboat crews carried out extensive searches, later discovering an abandoned jet ski on South Shields beach.

Another jet ski was seen leaving the area and heading up river.

The search continued in case some of the jet skiers were in the water and the Northumbria police helicopter joined the search.

But no-one was found and the search was called off after an hour, with ground-based police continuing enquiries.

An RNLI spokesman said: "We always take reports of people in difficulty very seriously so a thorough search of the area was carried out by the three lifeboats, but it seems as if everyone on the jet skis had left the area, abandoning one jet ski.

"When Humber Coastguard Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre was satisfied no-one was in any danger, the search was called off.

"The RNLI strongly advises against anyone using a jet ski in poor sea and weather conditions such as those we found tonight, particularly in the dark."