Police identify man who died in River Wear as Durham pensioner

The man who died after being dragged from the River Wear was a 72-year-old from Durham

The River Wear at Fatfield, Washington, where a man has drowned
The River Wear at Fatfield, Washington, where a man has drowned

Police have identified the man who died in a river close to the spot where two schoolgirls drowned as a 72-year-old pensioner.

The Durham man was formally identified after his body was dragged from the River Wear on Thursday.

Emergency services were called to the scene when his body was spotted in the water near to Bonemill Lane, in Fatfield, Tyne and Wear.

He was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital where he died.

A report has been prepared for the coroner and an inquiry will be opened.

The tragedy comes less than a year since two schoolgirls – Tonibeth Purvis, 15, and Chloe Fowler, 14 – died after falling into the fast-moving water on a sunny afternoon in July.

Locals say that the man was seen parking his car, a silver VW Polo, on wasteland opposite the North Biddick Social Club on the riverbanks, before walking towards the water.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “Police have identified the man who was recovered from the River Wear. He has been identified as a 72-year-old man from Durham. There is no suspected third party involvement and reports are being prepared for the coroner.”

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