Ian McAllister survived a 50ft plunge when he fell through Steetley pier
A Hartlepool angler who fell 50ft through a derelict pier has spoken about the accident that almost killed him.
Ian McAllister was fishing with his brother earlier this year when he fell through a manhole and into a dis-used pumping station.
The 55 year-old suffered severe injuries to his back and legs, and says he's 'lucky to be alive'.
Hartlepool council is now investigating to try and find its owners.
Ian told BBC Tees how his accident happened: "I wasn't fishing next to my brother at the time, but he said 'come over here' because he was getting a few bits, so I walked over completely forgetting where the hole was, and I went down it.
"I hit a couple of girders on the way down, and I wasn't aware I'd been injured. I just seemed to be going down forever."
Emergency services including fire fighters, police and the coastguard attended the scene and managed to rescue Ian.
He was airlifted to James Cook Hospital, where he spent the next two weeks recovering.
Ian says he owes his life to those that rescued him, and also to the flotation suit he wears while fishing, but he admits he still isn't over his injuries:
"I had a broken bone in my back, my pelvis was broken in three places, and I had the skin torn from my thigh to my waist, but since then smaller injuries have developed."
The entrance to Steetley pier has been mysteriously damaged
The Steetley pier has been out of use since for more than a decade.
Vandals have regularly targeted the pier, setting fire to wooden planks and stealing manhole covers to sell for scrap.
Greg Albrighton from the coastguard is warning anglers are risking their lives by using it:
"This is an industrial pier, it wasn't designed for leisure use. It's a very dangerous place to be, especially at night."
However, it's remained popular with fishermen who travel from around the region to use it, but Ian says he won't return until it's made safe:
"If it does get restored I'll be one of the first to go on it, but there's anglers fishing there as we speak because they're dedicated fishermen."
It's unclear who owns the structure.
According to the Crown Estate, which owns large areas of Britain's coastline, the pier was built in the 1930s by Dudley Magnesium.
It used the pier to extract magnesium from salt water, but when it went bust, the pier changed hands with a succession of firms before Starford Holdings bought it in 2005.
It's preparing to clear the land to make way for a housing development, but it says it doesn't own the pier.
Hartlepool Council says it hopes its investigation will uncover who the owners are.
Angler Ian McAllister tells Look North about his accident at Steetley Pier