A MAN in his eighties had to be rescued by the RNLI after he fell into the River Tees and was left in the water, clinging to a boat’s mooring chain for more than an hour.

The man, from Seaton Carew, was working with another man on a small boat in Paddy’s Hole at the mouth of the Tees when they both fell into the water.

One man was eventually able to swim ashore and raise the alarm at the pilot station.

The second man was able to reach a small boat nearby and cling to its mooring chain.

The Redcar RNLI lifeboat was launched just after 9.25pm on Saturday to search for this man.

Meanwhile, ambulance and coastguard teams were tasked to assist.

The crew of a Tees pilot cutter used their searchlight to try and find the man while the lifeboat searched through the boats moored in Paddy’s Hole.

The lifeboat crew heard a weak cry for help, and found the man at the stern of a fishing boat.

He was taken aboard the lifeboat and given emergency treatment including oxygen while he was taken up river to the entrance to Tees Dock to await the arrival of an ambulance.

Andy Beevis, helmsman of the Redcar lifeboat, said: “When we were told the man had been missing for over an hour we were fearing the worst, so we were really pleased when we heard him call out.

“He started to fade a bit when we got him into the lifeboat but by the time we reached the dock he was responding to treatment.

“Considering what he’d been through the outcome could have been very different.”