A HARTLEPOOL RNLI crew were sent to the aid of a man suffering with breathing difficulties on a 5,000 ton cargo ship moored off the North-East coast.

Volunteers were paged at 10.23am this morning by Humber Coastguard and were tasked to carry out a medevac of a 54-year-old man from the cargo ship moored two miles off Hartlepool.

The all weather lifeboat 'Betty Huntbatch' launched at 10.44am and was alongside the vessel at 11.02am.

With the crew wearing appropriate PPE, the casualty was brought aboard where the lifeboat's honorary medical advisor assessed the man whilst the lifeboat returned to the Ferry Road lifeboat station.

On arrival he was transferred to an ambulance and taken to North Tees Hospital for treatment.

Hartlepool RNLI Coxswain Robbie Maiden said: "This was a straight-forward medevac which the volunteers train for and thanks to the generosity of our supporters we are able to provide the best kit for our crew and the equipment to assist a casualty as we did on this occasion.

"On behalf of all the crew and the station officials we hope the gentleman makes a full recovery."