High Force, scene of the incident. Photo: Les Hull CC-BY-SA-2.0

High Force, scene of the incident. Photo: Les Hull CC-BY-SA-2.0

A teenager has died while swimming at a North Pennines beauty spot.

The 16-year-old was in the pool below the High Force waterfall in upper Teesdale on Tuesday when he got into difficulties.

The alarm was raised about 8pm and Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team members joined emergency services at the scene.

A team spokesperson said: “The team was called out last night to a multi-agency search and rescue at High Force waterfall, Teesdale, for a swimmer who had got into difficulties under the falls.

“We searched bank-side areas with 14 team members and two of our canoes assisted from the water. He was found in the water by a fire and rescue team, extracted, treated by [the hazardous area response team] and transferred to the police helicopter and flown to James Cook University Hospital.”

Durham Constabulary said the boy, from Hartlepool, was found about 9.45pm but sadly died in hospital in Middlesbrough.

A police spokesperson said: “Five other teenagers, three boys and two girls, who had been with the boy, were not injured.”

A Teesdale and Weardale SMRT spokesperson added: “Our thoughts and those of all attending services are with him and his family.”

High Force is a 22m (71ft) cascade on the route of the Pennine Way, west of Middleton-in-Teesdale.

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