Man's body washes up on riverbank

THE body of a 59-year-old man has been found washed up on the bank of a river.

Roddy Ashworth

THE body of a 59-year-old Essex man was found washed up on the bank of a river yesterday.

Police were called shortly after 12.25pm to a stretch of water just north-west of Wivenhoe after a member of the public made the grim discovery.

Officers blocked off a riverside pathway while members of Essex Police's Marine Unit recovered the body of a man, who is thought to have lived in the Clacton area.

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A formal identification has yet to take place and a post mortem examination will be carried out this week. Police said that the death was not being treated as suspicious.

Kevin Read, 45, from Spindrift Way on Wivenhoe's Old Port estate, said he had been walking his dog when he noticed police activity on the bank of the River Colne.

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“You could see something going on from the Wivenhoe trail. There were people with luminous jackets,” he said yesterday.

“I saw a policeman running down the path with some 'do not cross' tape. This was at about 1.15pm.

“I wondered what was going on. There were a couple of police cars.

“On the way back I walked round a different way to get a better look, and I saw a police constable talking to a woman with a camera, who I guess was also police. By that time there was a coastguard van there and the whole area was cordoned off.”

Chelsea Coyle, 35, landlady of the nearby Station Hotel pub, said she was first aware something was wrong at around 12.30pm.

“I saw two police cars with their blue lights and sirens on go past the pub, followed by a small ambulance. Then another ambulance went by. I thought what could be happening on a Sunday morning to warrant this?”

People in the village Rowhedge gathered to watch the group of police from the other side of the river.

One resident, who declined to be named, said: “I saw them pulling an object out of the water at about 2.30pm.

“There were two people, who I thought were frogmen, pulling hard on a rope and it looked like a body that was all wrapped up.”

A police spokeswoman said: “An inquest is expected to be opened in due course.”

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