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River Tyne death brings back memories of son who died in same area, father says

Robert Hattersley died in 2022 (Northumbria Police/PA)
Robert Hattersley died in 2022 (Northumbria Police/PA)

The father of a boy who drowned in the same river as a teenager on Saturday said the incident has “brought back memories” of the grief experienced by his family.

Robert Hattersley, 13, from Crawcrook, died after getting into trouble in the River Tyne at Ovingham on July 17 2022.

On Saturday, a 14-year-old boy died in the same area while a 13-year-old boy is in a critical condition.

Robert’s father Carl, who has set up a foundation in his son’s name to raise awareness of the dangers of open water swimming, said he wanted to send his condolences to the boy’s family.

“It brought back memories about what happened to our son, or what we went through,” he said.

“We want to send our condolences to the family that have lost their young lad, to give them our love and support.

“If they want they can get in touch with a phone call because we know what it’s like to lose a little boy.”

He said he was “quite disappointed” with Northumberland Council, which he says has not been in touch with him since his son’s death.

“We thought something would have been done by the Northumberland Council by now,” he said.

Mr Hattersley said he wanted to raise awareness of the dangers of open water swimming in schools.

“Let’s get people aware, of all ages, like these young teenagers,” he said.

“If they’re not from around here they might not know the dangers of Northumberland’s rivers because it’s quite dangerous and strong because of the current.”