SA river search ends in tragedy

Caroline Schelle
AAP

A desperate search to find an elderly man who fell out of his tinny in the Murray River east of Adelaide has ended in tragedy.

The body of 78-year-old Norman Grace was found on Saturday night, five hours after he fell into the river at Murray Bridge East.

The elderly man was in a three metre tinny when it capsized on the river, with two of his grandchildren on board.

The two children, reported to be around ten, were wearing life vests and swam to shore.

The missing man's daughter Kylie Jacobs said the boat was having engine problems when it tipped over.

"He bobbed up and put his hand up a few times but we couldn't see him after," she told News Corp.

Mrs Jacobs told media the family was still coming to terms with the tragedy.

"It's a nightmare," she said.

Another daughter was nearby and kayaked to where he was last seen in the water.

Police divers joined the search from 6.30pm and located his body near the Murray Bridge.