A man has died after he was swept of a pier while out fishing with a friend.

The 47-year-old man was in the sea for half-an-hour before he was rescued - but doctors were unable to save him.

The man was fishing off the North pier at Tynemouth before he was washed into the sea around 8pm on Thursday.

As the weather conditions worsened and they decided to leave, a large wave broke over the pier and swept him over the edge.

The police and Cullercoats inshore lifeboat team were alerted but the man had been in the water for at least half-an-hour before he was rescued. At that stage he was unconscious.

A police spokesman said: "Despite the efforts of the paramedics at the scene and at North Tyneside hospital, the man later died.

"The other man at the scene was shocked but otherwise unhurt. This was a tragic accident with no suspicious circumstances."

Paul Shawn, of the Fishermen's Mission, witnessed the rescue. He said: "I saw them pulling him out of the sea and he seemed to be in a very bad way. "It's not surprising really; it was very cold out there, the waters were freezing.

"There were lots of people watching the rescue, crowding around as they brought him ashore but unfortunately there was nothing we could do for him." A spokeswoman for the North-East ambulance service said: "Our crew did manage to revive him. He still needed emergency care when we took him to hospital at 9pm."

The man, who has not been named, was taken to North Tyneside General Hospital but later died.