Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010

Body of missing County Durham fisherman found

Map of County Durham

Police have confirmed the body of a man found on a County Durham beach is that of an angler missing since 12 January.

George Derbyshire, 61, was reported missing when he failed to return to his home in Blackhall, near Peterlee.

A search was carried out over several days involving police, HM Coastguard, the RNLI and volunteers from local search and rescue teams.

A body found on a beach at nearby Horden on Sunday has been formally identified as that of Mr Derbyshire.

Fishing gear belonging to the security officer with Komatsu in Birtley was found two days after he was reported missing.

A Durham Police spokesman said: "A member of Mr Derbyshire's family carried out the formal identification procedure on Monday and a post mortem will now be held to establish a formal cause of death.

"Mr Derbyshire's family have asked us to pass on their appreciation for all the efforts made by the various agencies involved in the search.

"The coroner will be holding an inquest in due course to establish how his death occurred, but there are no suspicious circumstances."

The coastguard said it was assumed Mr Derbyshire had been swept into the sea during last week's rough weather.



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