A man died today after plunging from the cliffs at Marsden Grotto in South Shields.
Police received a report at 8am that a man had fallen from the cliffs and into the sea.
Police and the Coastguard responded and the body of a man was recovered.
Despite the efforts of the emergency services, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Inquiries are ongoing to identify the man, and anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 342 13/03/16.
A spokesman for the Coastguard said they got the call at about 8am to a report of a man having gone over the cliff at Marsden.
The Sunderland Coastguard, the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade and Tynemouth RNLI were all alerted to the incident, along with police and paramedics.
The air ambulance was also called to the scene, but was turned back when it became clear it wasn't needed.
Adrian Don, a spokesman for the Tynemouth RNLI, said paramedics were on the beach below the cliffs and were joined by volunteers from the RNLI who lifted the deceased man onto the lifeboat.
They then sailed around the coast to South Shields beach, where an ambulance was waiting.
He said: "It was all very sad. Saving lives is our main task, but on occasions we go to incidents such as this, and we just try to do things in as respectful a way as possible."