Roker North Pier, Sunderland, 15th December 2012
I arrived at Roker just as dramatic scenes were unfolding - I could see the RAF Sea King helicopter hovering by the lighthouse, a heavy swell was breaking over the North pier and the decision had been taken to close the pier to the public. A group of 15 anglers were already at the lighthouse and packing up to leave when a 16ft wave crashed over the top and slammed one of the elderly fishermen against the railings, breaking his leg. The injured man was airlifted to Newcastle’s RVI Hospital by the helicopter from RAF Boulmer and the rest of the fishermen were led to safety through the tunnel that runs underneath the pier. Only the traffic cone remained.