Two lifeboats and a helicopter were called to rescue a man from the sea at Redcar early on Sunday.
The Glaisdale man was calling for help when he was spotted waist deep in the water near the Regent cinema.
The two lifeboat crews from Redcar RNLI, guided by the helicopter search light, pulled the man to safety.
He was taken to hospital by ambulance crews for treatment for the cold. Crewman Tony Wild said the man was in a very disoriented state.
He said: "He was very glad to see the lifeboat arrive. He'd been in the sea for quite a while and was showing the effects of the cold sea."