Robert Hattersley: Messages of condolence left online after popular teenager's River Tyne death

Robert Hattersley was found in the River Tyne after an extensive search involving about 40 people. Credit: Northumbria Police/ITV Tyne Tees

More than 100 people have signed an online book of condolences paying tribute to a teenager who died in the River Tyne.

Robert Hattersley's body was found in the water following an extensive search of a stretch of the river at Ovingham, in Northumberland.

The 13-year-old, from Crawcrook, had got into difficulty while paddling with friends at the beauty spot on Sunday afternoon.

Thorp Academy in Ryton paid tribute to its popular pupil as it opened a book of condolences which, on Tuesday, had been signed by 104 people.

One comment read: "Rip Robert you didn't deserve to leave us this soon, we love you and you will forever be missed."

In another, a mourner said: "You were one of the nicest person I have ever met Robert just wish I could have one last conversation with you."

Tributes are being paid to the popular Thorp Academy pupil on its online book of condolences.

Pupils were told in an assembly on Monday about the youngster's death, while a letter was sent to all parents.

It said affected students would be offered support and signposted others to bereavement charity Cruse.

In a statement paying tribute to Robert, the school said: "Northern Education Trust Thorp Academy, and the wider school community, are devastated by the loss of much-loved Y9 student, Robert Hattersley, who tragically lost his life yesterday when paddling with friends in the River Tyne. 

"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."

Flowers were placed by Robert's family in the river on Monday near to where he died.

A note from friends on one bunch of flowers on the riverbank read: "We tried to save you but we couldn't hold on anymore. We are heartbroken."