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Boy, 14, dies, another criticizes after ‘playing on rope swing’ By River Tyne

A 14-year-old boy has died and a 13-year-old boy is in a critical condition after getting into difficulty in the River Tyne on Saturday. Locals said the boys may have been playing on a swing by the water.

Emergency services were called to the scene at 3.30pm on Saturday following reports that two boys were in the river near Ovingham Bridge. The 13-year-old was rescued from the water, but the 14-year-old’s body was later found.

A police recording remained near the body of water Sunday morning, while two forensic pathologists could be seen gathering evidence near the riverbank. Locals believe the boys may have been playing on a swing when they ran into difficulty.

On Sunday afternoon, firefighters arrived to remove the swing next to where the two boys entered the water. Previously, the rope had been shortened by the police before the cordon was lifted.

A local resident who passed the scene on Saturday believed the 14-year-old was trying to rescue his friend, who had jumped into the water. The two men are believed to have been part of a larger group who had traveled from west Newcastle, around 12 miles away.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I heard the first boy went into the river from the swing and he showed he was in trouble, so the second boy went in after him, and I think he’s the one who died.

“There was a group of about eight teenagers, girls and boys, so they must have traveled here together. They came here thinking it’s a nice place to play. It is very common to see children coming from the Newcastle area. They think it’s a calm place to jump into the river, but they don’t realize the dangers. It’s absolutely devastating.

The rope swing was by the riverThe rope swing was by the river

The rope swing was by the river – Scott Heppell/North News

She added: “My children were playing there and I was always saying please, please be careful. I even went there and already cut the swing off, but the kids put it back together. There was a large group of people gathered and I think the parents of some of the children were there.

“Usually when this happens they don’t find the bodies until they search further down the river, but I think this time the poor child was pulled not far from where he had entered. The river is very deep and the children don’t realize how deep and dangerous it is. My head is spinning thinking about how sad this is.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “Shortly after 3.30pm on Saturday, police received a report of concerns for the welfare of two teenagers who were in the river near Ovingham Bridge.

“Emergency services were immediately dispatched to the scene and one of the boys, aged 13, was rescued from the water. He was taken to hospital, where he is currently in critical condition.

“Several organizations conducted an extensive search of the area in an attempt to locate the second boy. Sadly, the 14-year-old’s body was later found in the water and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The parents of the two boys are being supported by specially trained officers, police said.


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