THREE kayakers from the same family who drowned in a river were "relatively inexperienced" having recently taken up the sport, a coroner has said.

Inquests were opened into the deaths of brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe and their cousin Gavin ­Bradley, who went for a day out on the River Tyne near Hexham, Northumberland, .

Darren, 41, Mark, 39 and their 36-year-old cousin, set off at around 9am on Sunday and were due to return to their wives at 7pm.

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Each cause of death was drowning, though further tests would be carried out.

All three inquests were adjourned provisionally until July 10.