THE sister of missing Alex Johnson has spoken of her family's "living hell" as she appealed for people to continue their search of the River Tyne for him.

Alex, 24, of Chester-le-Street, who had battled with depression, is believed to have fallen from the Tyne Bridge in the early hours of last Tuesday morning.

A large group met at Newcastle’s Quayside on Saturday to scour the river, while the search continued on Easter Sunday and Monday, as sister Ashleigh Marr and Alex’s family travelled along the river by boat.

Ashleigh, 29, said: "All we want to do is bring Alex home to rest. then we can process this whole thing, because at the minute life is just like a living hell.

“It has been mainly members of the public and ourselves who have been looking for Alex.

"Northumbria Police Marine Unit are meeting on Tuesday to put together a strategy to move forward.

"I know the police are now doing something, but I am just keen on making the public aware we have not found him and still want people to be out looking for him.

"What I don’t want is for my bother to be washed to the side of that river and just left there for days until someone sees him. I want to prevent that from happening. It’s really important."

She added: "Alex was such a lovely person and had such a big heart. All he wanted to do was take care for other people, but never took good care of himself. He was selfless. We are still in shock that it is even happening."

Ashleigh said someone had given the family access to a speed boat and said they could use until Alex is found.

She said: "The response of the public has been so heartwarming at this time.

"I am reading every single message. Even though I cannot reply to them all, they mean so much to me and the family."

Alex was wearing a black North Face T-shirt, grey joggers and blue Nike trainers when he went into the water.