Two teenage girls, whose bodies were found by divers in the River Wear yesterday, have been named locally as Chloe Fowler and Toni-Beth Purvis.
The pair got into difficulty on a fast-flowing part of the river at around 3pm yesterday.
An off-duty policeman and a member of the public tried to save the girls before emergency service personnel joined the search and rescue effort.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said that the two bodies had been taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital and that the families had been informed.
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Police said the child, who was without a driving licence, was trying to make his way 2,500 miles from the east coast to Perth.
The 24-year-old was charged with 14 counts of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and one count of throwing a corrosive fluid.
Winds will veer northerly overnight with colder air streaming in over the next few days.