THE family of a teenager who died in the River Tyne want to see more signage warning of the dangers of open water swimming.

Robert Hattersley, 13, of Crawcrook, came into difficulty in the river near Ovingham during the UK heatwave.

After a large-scale search by emergency services, the body of the Year 9 Thorp Academy pupil was found in the water.

Now, Robert’s family is calling for greater awareness as to the dangers of rivers – with his dad even distributing homemade safety leaflets locally.

“The life buoy is about 80 metres away and it’s hidden by bushes”, said uncle Darren Dominy. “That should be on the bridge leg itself and there should be signs on the bridge legs.

“If the signs are right in front of where they go in, and a lot of kids go in the water there, they might think twice.

“We would like to see it all over the country; you can’t police every river, but this is a beauty spot where kids play.

“Keep your kids away from the water and make sure there’s someone always with them – an adult.”

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Uncle Darren described ‘Robbie’ as a “beautiful little lad.”

He added: “You’d never see him unhappy. He was everything a little boy should be, loved by everybody.

“He was massively into football, he loved Newcastle. He was into his Tik Toks as well.

“The community has been absolutely fantastic, the way they’ve come together. People die every day, but 13-year-old boys do not.”

In the wake of Robert’s death, thousands of pounds have been raised to help support his grieving family and give him the "best send off" possible. His funeral is on August 8.

A fundraising event at Crawcrook Albion Football Club has also been planned for September, as well as a memorial bench to be installed at Crawcrook park. Any remaining cash will go to a charity of the family’s choice.

A memorial service, attended by family and friends, was also held on what would have been Robert’s 14th birthday to celebrate his life.

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“His sisters have been absolutely brilliant”, explained Darren. “They’ve done all the family little trinkets.

“This has brought us all together in a hurry. We’re like any family, we fall out, we call each other names, but at the end of the day, we’re family and something like this brings us all together.”

A number of floral tributes and notes were left at the scene at the time and an online book of condolence set up by Robert’s Ryton-based school amassed hundreds of signatures.