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Diver tells of finding missing Euan

The body of a missing student was discovered in the River Wear by a diver who had driven hundreds of miles to help return him to his mother.

Durham University law student Euan Coulthard, 19, from Bottesford, Leicestershire, went missing on a night out, resulting in a major search operation lasting over a week.

But his body was discovered by shellfish diver Trevor Bankhead, who described how he knew immediately it was him and said "I have come to take you home my friend".

Mr Bankhead, who works on the west coast of Scotland, said he decided to make his own searches to try and help bring closure to the family.

The 45-year-old, who is from Durham and has made more than 500 dives in the river, said he would never forget discovering Euan.

"At about 9am I went into the water and I had only been down for about 30-40 seconds when I found him," he said.

"I was shocked that I found him so quickly even though I had prepared myself mentally for finding a dead body.

"I had to take a moment because I got choked up in the water and then I said to him 'I have come to take you home my friend'.

"I got out the water and asked a lady nearby to use her phone and then rang 999. It was such a sad day, everyone knew what was going on and I'll never forget it as long as I live.

"I thought I could help out and now thankfully he's back with his mother."

He said previously he had been in contact with his brother, a local firefighter, about whether or not the police had discovered Euan's body.

But when he was still missing at the end of the week, Mr Bankhead rang his boss and told him he was driving back to Durham to try and find the missing student.

"My brother is a fireman and I was speaking to him during the week and he said they had not found him," he said.

"So I thought I could try and find him with my knowledge of the river, as long as the conditions in the river were right.

"On Thursday I spoke to my boss and told him I was going to go and find the missing student. He said 'you're joking' but I said I had to try."

Mr Bankhead also hit the headlines in 2009 when, along with his brother, they discovered artefacts belonging to a former Archbishop of Canterbury at the bottom of the River Wear.

They discovered coins, medallions and medals connected to the late Bishop of Durham Michael Ramsey, who retired to the North East after heading the Anglican Church in the 1960s and 1970s.


From Belfast Telegraph