Police divers on Tuesday recovered two bodies in the search for a pair of teenage girls who were last seen in difficulties in the River Tyne.

Passers-by tried to rescue the girls when they were seen to be struggling in a stretch of the river near Fatfield, Washington, just before 3pm.

Around 100 people took part in the search, but police later confirmed that two bodies had been found.

"There were two people on the banks who saw the children in difficulty," said Alan Veitch of Northumbria Police.

"One was an off-duty police officer going for a run who dived in and saved a boy who was trying to save one of the missing girls.

"Another gentleman dived in and swam the width of the river to get to one of the girls but he came up empty-handed. He was distraught as you can imagine," he added.