A teenage girl who was rescued after being swept out to sea by a large wave has died, police said. The 15-year-old was washed into the waters from the north pier of Cullercoats Bay in North Tyneside at around 7.44pm on Saturday 16 January.
"Our thoughts are with the family," Northumbria Police said, who added that the waters were "running high" when she was swept into the freezing North Sea. Although she was rescued by a member of the public, she later died after suffering a cardiac arrest at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington, Northumberland.
The girl, who has not been named, had been with a group of teenagers at the time but her friends, a girl aged 15 and a 14-year-old boy and girl managed to get away safely. A major rescue operation including an RNLI lifeboat, a Coastguard search-and-rescue helicopter and police was launched.
Eyewitness Dr Clare Guilding, told the Newcastle Chronicle that she saw "about 30 people combing the area" after she cycled down to see if she could help.
"The rescue helicopter was out along with police and ambulances," she said, adding that "someone told me a girl had fallen into the sea but they had managed to locate her."
The teenager was rescued from the south side of the bay by a member of the public but later died in hospital, said Northumbria Police.
Before the girl died, Chief Inspector Paul Knox, issued a warning about the danger of the sea at this time of year, "when tides are high and people can be taken unaware by the strength of the waves".
He added: "People should always be careful around water and if the sea is looking rough with waves pounding onto the pier, we would advise people to be particularly cautious and keep their distance."