Two men have been taken to hospital after concerns for their health when they made a rapid ascent from the sea.
The alarm was raised at 11.5am when a dive boat seven miles off Hartlepool called for help after the divers were reported to be in need of medical attention.
Hartlepool RNLI's inshore and all weather boats were sent to meet the boat, while a radio medical call was held to offer advice from a dive doctor.
The men were transferred onto the RNLI's boats and taken to shore, where they met paramedics from the North East Ambulance Service and taken to hospital.
Members of Hartlepool's HM Coastguard team also supported the rescue.