Clothes found in search for County Durham kayaker

Shane Smith
Image caption Mr Smith's disappearance sparked a major search operation

Clothing believed to belong to a missing County Durham kayaker has been found close to where he was last seen.

Shane Smith, 30, from Seaham, failed to surface after getting into difficulty at Seaham Harbour on 22 April. His kayak and paddle were later found.

A new search involving a police helicopter was triggered after trousers were found at Featherbed Rock in Seaham.

Police have taken samples of the clothing for forensic tests.

Mr Smith's mother Pearl has put up posters around the coastline from Whitby to Blyth asking people to look out for his body.

She described the time since his disappearance as "torture".

The family is concerned that his body could have been washed up near what are locally known as the chemical rocks, an area of massive boulders, with large gaps between them.

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