Relatives in kayak tragedy named

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Three kayakers found dead in a river in Northumberland have been named by police as brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe and their cousin, Gavin Bradley.

A major search and rescue operation was sparked after the three failed to return home on Sunday.

Darren Thorpe, 41, and Mark Thorpe, 40, were both from South Shields, South Tyneside, and Gavin Bradley, 36, was from Jarrow, South Tyneside.

It is believed the three men had planned their trip and knew the river well, but had encountered challenging conditions after heavy rainfall.

After receiving a call at 11pm on Sunday, the first body was recovered from the river by a Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer and the second was recovered in the Corbridge area.

The third was then discovered by officers under the Broomhaugh A68 bridge.

Earlier, one of the missing men’s vehicles had been found at Tyne Green, near to Hexham Rowing Club, just before 
1.15am.

A second vehicle belonging to them was also found, at 4.10am, at Wylam railway station car park, and later their kayaks were retrieved.