AN injured tanker crewman was rescued by a lifeboat crew off the coast of Hartlepool this morning.

The RNLI at Hartlepool got a call from Humber Coastguard at 10.20am asking them to help a tanker with a crewmember complaining of abdominal pain.

The crew launched its all-weather lifeboat just after 10.30am and got to the 144-m tanker just after 10.40. It was en-route from Teesport to Gdansk in Poland, and had anchored 1.5 miles east of the Heugh gun battery.

Hartlepool RNLI Cowain Robbie Maiden said: “We positioned alongside the tanker and the injured crewman and his belongings were transferred on to the lifeboat.

"We quickly returned to Hartlepool lifeboat station and released the seaman to the waiting ambulance crew.

“The injured crewman was taken to the University Hospital of North Tees.”