A LIFEBOAT crew pulled an empty canoe from the sea that had been seen being played with by youngsters.
The blue vessel was hauled onto an RNLI boat off the coast of Hartlepool at the request of HM Coastguard.
Children are said to have been playing with it before it drifted out into deep water on Sunday.
A spokesman for Hartlepool RNLI said: “The inshore lifeboat was requested by Humber Coastguard to recover a canoe that had been seen floating in the sea at Middleton.
“It was thought that youths had been using the canoe earlier in the day.”