THE area where two South Shields men lost their lives after going kayaking is a popular place for canoeists - an expert has said.
The alarm was raised at 11pm and at just after 5.10am, a body was recovered from the river at Riding Mill by RAF Boulmer.
A second body was recovered from the river by RAF Boulmer at just before 6.20am in the Corbridge area.
Searches are continuing for a third man who is yet to be found.
Experienced canoeist Allen Wearmouth, a British Canoe Union coach, said he knows the river around the area well.
He said: “It is a safe river. It has grade one rapids, which is the lowest grading. Even with the heavy rain it wouldn’t have made that particular stretch dangerous.
“There is a part which is particularly dangerous, the man-made weir, and it may have been they ran into difficulty there.”