Robert Hattersley: Family's 'heartbreak' at death of 13-year-old in River Tyne in Northumberland

Credit- Northumbria Police
Robert Hattersley got into trouble while in the River Tyne, leading to a search lasting into the night to find him. Credit: Northumbria Police

The family of a teenager who died in the River Tyne after getting into difficulty have said they are "absolutely devastated".

Robert Hattersley, 13, of Crawcrook, got into trouble in the water near Ovingham, in Northumberland, shortly before 4.15pm on Sunday 17 July.

Northumbria Police were joined by members of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service and HM Coastguard and Mountain Rescue for a search that continued into the night.

Police confirmed on Monday morning that a body had been found in the water.

Robert Hattersley's family said that he "brought a smile to so many people’s faces". Credit: Northumbria Police

His family have said he will be missed by everyone who knew him.

They said: "It is impossible to put into words the heartbreak we are feeling. Robert was so kind and loving. We are absolutely devastated by what has happened.

"He brought a smile to so many people’s faces and he will be missed by absolutely everyone who knew and loved him.

"We’d like to thank all the emergency services who worked so hard to try to find Robert, as well as everyone who has been in touch passing on their messages of condolence."

Specialist family liaison officers from Northumbria Police are continuing to offer the family any support they need, and have asked that their privacy is respected at this time.

The force does not believe there was any third party involvement and a report will be made for the coroner.

Emergency services including police, fire, coastguard and mountain rescuers helped in the search for the teenager. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The Northern Education Trust Thorp Academy said it was devastated by the loss of Mr Hattersley who was a Year 9 student and it has opened an online book of condolence.

It said: "Our thoughts are with Robert's family and friends at this very sad time, and we are offering them our support, as well as supporting our other students and staff.

"Robert was a well-loved member of the academy family, who immersed himself in all aspects of school life; he was a kind and caring young man who was popular with staff and students alike."

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Brooks, of Northumbria Police, said: "This is an absolutely tragic incident and our thoughts are with Robert’s family at this absolutely horrendous time.

"We will continue to support them in any way that we can, as they attempt to process the events of the last 24 hours.

"I would like to thank every organisation who assisted us with our searches, including all the volunteers. Your support is absolutely vital and it is hugely appreciated. It is with great sadness that we could not provide a more positive update.”