A spokesman for Northumbria Police say they believe two teenage girls have gone into the river.
Police, fire and ambulance services are continuing to carry out searches.
More top news
Kerrie Gosney brings you Saturday night's forecast
Showers becoming heavy and thundery Saturday afternoon. Drier for a large part of Sunday
Robert Hodgson, from Stanley, County Durham, committed the offences on the girls, aged as young as five or six, up to the age of 13.