Teenager's death is third tragedy for County Durham family

Tragedy has struck a family a third time after their son drowned in a river in County Durham at the weekend.

Colin Dodds, 16, was playing with friends at a popular bathing spot on the River Wear near his home at Bishop Auckland when he got into difficulty on Saturday afternoon.

His body was recovered in the early hours of Sunday after police divers located it close to where he disappeared.

It is the third tragedy to affect his family, who live on the Woodhouse Close Estate.

Three years ago his older brother Ryan died aged 14 from multiple organ failure. He was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's disease at birth, a rare condition that affects the bowels.

In 1992, the family lost six-week-old Kenneth after he died from complications caused by his premature birth.

Durham Police said Colin went swimming with two friends to cool off in the warm weather.

The teenagers were in a section of the river known locally as The Batts when Colin began to struggle and was unable to reach the river bank.

A joint operation involving police, ambulance, the fire service, the RAF and search and rescue teams was launched. A force spokeswoman said the death was not being treated as suspicious but as "a tragic accident".

A post-mortem examination to establish a formal cause of death is expected next week.