River Tyne dead kayakers: Men were from the same family

Kayak on riverbank The men failed to return after going kayaking in the Hexham area

The bodies of three men from the same family who went kayaking together have been found in the River Tyne.

Police were alerted when the men, from the South Shields area, did not return home on Sunday after going kayaking at Hexham, Northumberland.

Officers said the men included two brothers, aged 41 and 40, and their cousin, aged 36.

Two of the bodies were recovered from the river at Riding Mill, and the other was found in the Corbridge area.

The major search operation has involved police, fire crews and a Sea King rescue helicopter.

Facts about the sport - Mike Devlin, of the British Canoe Union

  • About 1.2 million people in the UK canoe and kayak every year and there are very few deaths
  • The type of kit used depends on the competence of the person paddling and environmental conditions
  • One of the kayaks involved in the tragedy was a 'sit on top' - a type of boat often used by new and recreational paddlers

Police found one of the missing men's vehicles near to Hexham Rowing Club just before 01:15 BST, and a second one three hours later at Wylam railway station car park.

The first body was recovered at Riding Mill at 05:00 and the second at Corbridge at 06:20. The third, also at Riding Mill, was discovered at 13:15.

Formal identification is yet to take place.

Kayak recovered from river Northumbria Police said the men had planned their trip and knew that stretch of the river well
Riding Mill pumping station One of the bodies was found close to Riding Mill pumping station

Northumbria Police said the men had planned their trip and knew that stretch of the river well.

Ch Supt Gordon Milward said: "The weather was unpredictable, in terms of some very heavy showers and the river was higher than usual and fast-flowing.

"They would be challenging conditions for anybody who decided to go into the water."

The police's marine unit, other emergency service personnel and the RAF were joined by specialists from Northumberland Search and Rescue in the hunt for the missing men.

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