The body of a 16-year-old boy who went missing while swimming with friends in a river has been found, police say.

A major search operation was launched after Colin Dodds got into difficulties in the River Wear, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, on Saturday afternoon.

Police divers found Colin's body in the early hours of Sunday morning in a pool of water close to where he was last seen.

The teenager was with two 16-year-old friends at a section of the river known locally as the Batts when he began to struggle and was unable to reach the river bank. His friends raised the alarm at around 5.15pm when Colin failed to emerge from the water.

A joint operation involving police, ambulance, the fire service, the RAF and search and rescue teams was launched and continued throughout the night.

A Durham Police spokeswoman said: "The alarm was raised yesterday afternoon when 16-year-old Colin Dodds got into difficulties in the river while out swimming with two friends.

"A major search operation was then put in place led by Durham Constabulary and involving the air ambulance, the police helicopter and a crew from RAF Boulmer. Activity in the area, at a spot in the river known locally as The Batts, continued throughout the night.

"At first light this morning a specialist police underwater search team entered the river and at 4.20am they found a body at the bottom of a pool of water, close to where Colin's friends last saw him.

"After being recovered from the scene the body was formally identified by relatives as that of Colin, who lived in Douthwaite Road on Bishop Auckland's Woodhouse Close Estate."

The spokeswoman said it was believed Colin was swimming in the river due to the high temperatures experienced in the area. She said his death was not being treated as suspicious.