Boy, 14, Dies And Another Critical After ‘playing On Rope Swing’ By River Tyne | Old North State Wealth News
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Boy, 14, dies and another critical after ‘playing on rope swing’ by River Tyne

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A 14-year-old boy has died and a 13-year-old was left in a critical condition after they got into difficulties in the River Tyne while playing on a rope swing by the water.

Locals claimed the older boy might have been trying to rescue the younger one after he fell into the water on Saturday afternoon.

Emergency services were called to Ovingham in Northumberland just after 3.30pm amid reports that two boys had gone into the water.

The 13-year-old was rescued from the river while the body of the older child was recovered later.

It is believed the victims may have been part of a bigger group who had travelled from the west end of Newcastle, about 12 miles away, and had been playing on a rope swing over the water.

Police officers and fire crews at the scene on Sunday cut down a rope next to the river bank while forensic officers examined the area.

During the heatwave in 2022, a 13-year-old boy lost his life on the same stretch of river.

One local woman said: “I heard the first boy went into the river from the swing and he showed he was in trouble so the second one went in after him, which I believe is the one who died.

“There was a group of about eight teenage girls and boys so they must have travelled here together.

“It’s very common to see kids travelling from the Newcastle area. They think it’s a calm spot to jump in the river but they don’t realise the dangers. It’s absolutely devastating.”

She added: “My kids used to play down there and I would always say please, please be careful. I’ve even been down there and cut the swing down before, but the kids put it back up.

“The river is very deep and the kids don’t realise how deep and dangerous it is.”

Another local whose house backs onto the police cordon said: “On a still day you can actually see small circles of water being made by the currents. Below the water is full of great big holes and boulders.”

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “Shortly after 3.30pm on Saturday, police received a report of concern for the welfare of two teenage boys who were in the river near the bridge at Ovingham.

“Emergency services were immediately deployed to the area and one of the boys, aged 13, was rescued from the water. He was taken to hospital where he remains in a critical condition.”

The parents of both boys are being supported by specially trained officers, the force said.

Chief Superintendent Helena Barron said: “This is an absolutely tragic incident and our thoughts are with the families of both boys at this difficult time as we continue to support them.

“It is with great sadness that we could not provide a more positive update.”

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