Page last updated at 19:34 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Missing angler search called off

Map of County Durham

A search has been called off for a fisherman who went missing off the coast of County Durham.

George Derbyshire was reported missing when he failed to return to his home in Blackhall on Tuesday.

It is thought the 61-year-old security officer with Komatsu in Peterlee had been fishing off either Blackhall Rocks or Horden beach.

The coastguard said it was assumed Mr Derbyshire had been swept into the sea from a rock or a beach.

An RAF Sea King helicopter has been deployed, along with volunteers from the Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team who have been searching the cliffs.

British Transport Police have also searched the railway line which runs between his home and the coast.

However there has been no sign of either Mr Derbyshire, or any of his fishing gear.

On Thursday, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency urged other anglers to think about personal safety and look at the potential risks of fishing from the coast, especially in bad weather.

A 52-year-old man was seriously injured when he fell down a narrow shaft while fishing from a disused industrial pier near Hartlepool on Tuesday, and on 6 January an angler was killed when a section of cliff collapsed in Northumberland.



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