THE three men killed in the River Tyne kayaking tragedy have been named by Northumbria Police.

They are brothers Darren Thorpe, 41, of Madeira Terrace, and 39-year-old Mark Thorpe, of Froude Avenue, both South Shields, and their cousin Gavin Bradley, 36, of Lulworth Avenue, Jarrow.

Northumbria Police said inquiries are continuing into the circumstances leading to their deaths and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

The men died after apparently getting into difficulties in the swollen river, near Riding Mill, in Northumberland, as they were attempting to kayak between Hexham and Wylam, on Sunday.

Concerns were raised late on Sunday when the men failed to return to their South Tyneside homes, and a full air and riverbanks search was made, involving the Coastguard, police and an RAF rescue helicopter from the Boulmer base in north Northumberland.

Over several hours early yesterday the cars belonging to two of them men were found, parked near the river at Tyne Green, Hexham, and in the railway station car park, at Wylam, before two of their kayaks were recovered.

The bodies were located and recovered from the river near Riding Mill, Corbridge and under Broomhaugh A68 bridge, by 1pm yesterday.

Police described the conditions as “unpredictable” and due to heavy showers the river was higher and faster flowing than usual on Sunday.

The Northern Echo:
A canoe pulled from the River Tyne near Ovingham, Northumberland yesterday

The Northern Echo:
An ambulance leaving the scene near Riding Mill yesterday

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