Man’s body found washed up on Hayling seafront

DISCOVERY Police on the foreshore at Hayling Island where a man's body was found by walker Kevin Butler. Pictures: Malcolm Wells (113681-2839 and 2873)
DISCOVERY Police on the foreshore at Hayling Island where a man's body was found by walker Kevin Butler. Pictures: Malcolm Wells (113681-2839 and 2873)
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POLICE are investigating whether a body found floating in the sea off Hayling Island is that of a man who fell from a ferry into Portsmouth harbour on Sunday evening.

The body of a man was discovered washed up on the beach at Hayling Island, near the Funland arcade, by dog-walker Kevin Butler at about 2.45pm yesterday.

DISCOVERY A man's body was found by walker Kevin Butler foreshore at Hayling Island. Pictures: Malcolm Wells (113681-2873)

DISCOVERY A man's body was found by walker Kevin Butler foreshore at Hayling Island. Pictures: Malcolm Wells (113681-2873)

Mr Butler, 55, from Seafront, Hayling Island, made the discovery as he walked his friend’s Staffordshire bull terrier near beach huts.

He said: ‘All of a sudden I saw this image in the water, and I thought “what on earth could it be?”

‘The dog ran over to it and as I got closer to the water’s edge I could see this figure bobbing up and down. It was a man with a duffle coat on.

‘He was moving with the waves near to the shore, he only travelled a distance of 10 yards or so whilst I was there. He was coming in with the tide.

‘I was just in a complete state of shock. I had all this adrenaline pumping through me and I was pretty emotional at the thought that this was a dead man’s body.’

Mr Butler, a former construction worker, then enlisted the help of a male passer-by who dialled emergency services.

Police and medics arrived 20 minutes later and removed the body from the water before taking him away in an ambulance.

Kevin added: ‘The whole time I kept thinking how he must have been alive because the waves made it out like he was moving.’

George Peak, 20, who works at Hayling Island Amusement Park, said: ‘I was in the arcade when I suddenly heard loads of sirens and police cars flying down to the seafront.’

Marshall Hill, 49, owner of Funland, said: ‘It’s an awful way to go.

‘You really have to feel for the man’s family and friends.’

At 6.30pm on Sunday a man fell from the St Clare Wightlink ferry as it passed the Square and the Round towers in Portsmouth harbour. He was heard shouting for help and a five-hour search was carried out.

A police spokeswoman confirmed a body had been found and said: ‘Police are working to identify the man and the circumstances surrounding his death. The death is not being treated as suspicious at this stage.’