Deaths of Leeds father and son magnet fishing in canal not suspicious - police

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The deaths of a father and son as they were magnet fishing for discarded metal in canal are not being treated as suspicious, police have said.

The bodies of the 43-year-old man - named on social media as Martin Andrews - and his 19-year-old son, Jack, were found by police divers in Huddersfield on Saturday evening.

The men, from Pudsey, had gone to a stretch of canal close to the River Calder, in the Cooper Bridge area of the town, at about 6.15am, West Yorkshire Police said.

Mr Andrews’s wife told officers they had gone “magnet fishing”, a hobby which involves trawling waterways for metal using a very strong magnet on a rope.

Officers were first alerted at about 11.20am on Saturday by a passer-by who noticed personal belongings including clothing, a mobile phone, a camera and car keys had been left by the waterside for at least 50 minutes.

The police used the keys to locate a nearby car and this was traced to an address in Pudsey where Mr Andrews’s wife confirmed her husband and son had gone out hours earlier.

The police spokesman said: “Police were called around 11.18am on Saturday June 16 to the canal side, near to Navigation House in Cooper Bridge, Huddersfield, after it was believed two men entered the water.

“Officers conducted extensive inquiries to locate the men, and the police underwater search unit attended.

“The bodies of two men were recovered from the water around 7.20pm.

“They are believed to be a father and son from the Leeds area. The family have been notified.

“There are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances at this time and a file is being prepared for the coroner.”

Tributes have been paid to the two men on social media, although they have not yet been formally named by police.

Magnet fishing is thought to have been begun in the United States and has grown in popularity in the UK in recent months, with kit becoming available online.

Earlier this month, a Gloucestershire man was reported to have found a safe full of jewellery in the lake in a Cheltenham park after watching a programme about magnet fishing on TV.

He told reporters he had bought the fishing magnet on the internet for £17.50.

Also this month, a hand-grenade was blown up in Birmingham after it was pulled from a canal in the city by a man out magnet fishing.