Live updates

Accidental death recorded in tragic kayakers inquest

The families of three men who died whilst kayaking on the River Tyne are calling for warning signs to be placed on a section of the River in Northumberland.

A coroner has recorded verdicts of accidental death for the three men - Brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe, from South Shields, and their cousin Gavin Bradley, from Jarrow, died last May.

Kenny Toal was at today's inquest:

Family pays tribute to 'amazing husbands' following inquest

The family of three men who died while out kayaking have paid tribute to them. Brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe, from South Shields, and their cousin Gavin Bradley, from Jarrow, died in May. At the inquest into their deaths coroner recorded a verdict of accidental deaths.

"I would like to thank everyone that was involved in the search for Darren, Mark and Gavin, and for the great efforts that were made to find them.

"Since this tragic accident occurred, our lives have been turned completely upside down. A part of us died that day, alongside our amazing husbands. We will never recover, or be the same again.

"Our lads would never have knowingly put themselves in danger. They were decent, hardworking, family men, just wanting to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the countryside, on a much deserved day off work. They were always sensible and had necessary equipment.

"We really hope that changes can be put in place to prevent such future tragedies happening again, and to save other families from the heartache we are suffering.

"Four lives have been taken in the space of three years, on that same stretch of river."

– Family statement

Advertisement

Coroner records accidental death in kayakers inquest

An inquest resumed into the death of three men who died while kayaking on the River Tyne in Northumberland. Brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe, from South Shields, and their cousin Gavin Bradley, from Jarrow, died in May.

The coroner recorded the verdict of accidental death in all three cases. The river levels at the time were higher than the men had experienced previously. The coroner added that the men did not show any signs of bravado and that the men took their safety seriously.

Thirty tonnes of water passes over the weir at Riding Mill every second an expert said it was impossible to get out of this.

Life buoy misuse 'puts lives at risk'

Police are appealing for information after life buoys were stolen and discarded into water in Newcastle.

Witnesses reported seeing a group of young people throwing life rings into the River Tyne, next to the Ropery at Walker, on August 28.

Officers received a similar call from earlier the same day further along the Quayside at Mariners Wharf.

"The misuse or damage of life buoys potentially puts people's lives at risk, as does the discarding of them into the water unnecessarily such as the youths in this case.

"Anyone who witnesses something such as this happening or who has information about those involved is asked to get in touch with police so we can make enquiries."

– PC Angela Pattison

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.

"Tell your friends": Dutch sailors treated to 3-day tour

The yachts make a stunning sight moored on the River Tyne

The arrival of 58 Dutch yacht crews in Newcastle is the end of a two-year wooing campaign by North East tourism officials, who hope to convince them that the North East would make a regular holiday spot.

The sailors will now be treated to a packed three-day itinerary, which includes coach trips to the Angel of the North and Houseteads Roman Fort on Hadrian's Wall. They will also be given a drinks reception at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle.

"We wanted to show off our city"

Adrian Waddell , of NEI, said: "We were determined to show off our city and our new Marina to yachtsmen who regularly travel long distances but have previously missed out the North East from their voyages. "

Advertisement

Fleet of Dutch racing yachts arrives on the River Tyne

A fleet of 58 Dutch racing yachts has arrived on the River Tyne as part of a friendly race around the North Sea.

The yachts and their crewmen set sail from Ijmuiden in the Netherlands last weekend and have already visited Hartlepool Marina. They will be moored in Newcastle until Saturday.

The 58 Dutch racing yachts are moored in Newcastle
The yachts look stunning against the backdrop of the Millennium Bridge in Newcastle
The racing yachts will be moored for three days while their crews tour the area
The yachts set sail from Holland last weekend and have also visited Hartlepool

Funerals of kayakers to take place

From left to right: brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe and their cousin Gavin Bradley

The funerals of three men who died while kayaking in Northumberland will take place later today (May 23).

Darren Thorpe, his younger brother Mark and their cousin Gavin Bradley failed to return home after a day on the water near Hexham on May 11. They were all from South Tyneside.

Inquests into kayakers’ deaths get underway

Inquests into the deaths of three men who died while kayaking in the River Tyne have begun.

Darren Thorpe, 41, his brother Mark Thorpe, 39, and their 36-year-old cousin Gavin Bradley set off from their homes in South Tyneside at around 9am last Sunday (11 May).

A major search operation was launched and the three bodies were found in separate locations in the Tyne the next day.

At a hearing that lasted less than 10 minutes, the coroner said the men had told their partners they would be kayaking in the Hexham area.

All three inquests were adjourned provisionally until July 10.

It would appear the three recently took it up as a sport in their spare time… They were, it would seem, relatively inexperienced and not attached to a club.

“At this stage there are no suspicious circumstances and nothing to suggest any third party involvement.”

– Eric Armstrong, Coroner for North Tyneside & South Northumberland

Coroner: Kayakers were "relatively inexperienced"

From left to right: brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe and their cousin Gavin Bradley.

Three kayakers from the same family who drowned in the River Tyne were “relatively inexperienced” in the sport, a coroner has said.

Inquests were opened into the deaths of brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe and their cousin Gavin Bradley.

Darren, 41, Mark, 39 and their 36-year-old cousin set off from their homes in South Tyneside at around 9am last Sunday (11 May) and were due to return to their wives at 7pm.

Kerry Thorpe, Mark's wife, raised the alarm at 11pm when the men did not come home.

A major search operation was launched and the three bodies were found in separate locations in the Tyne the next day.

Load more updates