A police team has been hailed for their life saving endeavours after pulling a woman from the sea.
The 45-year-old was seen distressed and in danger in the water off Hartlepool Marina.
The officers, from the Operational Support Unit, were called to a report of concern for the welfare of a woman at around 7pm on Tuesday, February 9.
The report was vague and officers had to begin a search of the area to trace the whereabouts of the woman in darkness, with Seaton Carew also checked.
Sergeant Paul Johnson deployed officers near to Hartlepool Yacht Club and himself and Pc David Ridgway began to search the Seaton Carew area, when they received a call from Pc John Dixon to say he had located the woman.
The three officers made their way to the scene and spotted the woman inside South Pier at the beach.
Officers used search lights to guide them to the woman and by this point she was up to her neck in water.
The woman could not swim and the officers needed to act quickly to bring her to safety.
Sgt Johnson located a nearby lifebuoy with an attached safety rope which was tied to Pc Ridgeway who began to wade through the water towards the woman, while Sgt Johnson anchored him with the rope.
Pc Dixon also entered the water to ensure that Pc Ridgeway had a secure line back to shore.
Pc Ridgeway managed to reach the woman who was suffering from shock, and all three of the officers, who were now waist deep in water, had to work together to bring her out of the sea and to carry her to the police van where it was dry and warm.
The woman appeared to be suffering from mild hypothermia and was taken to hospital for treatment.