Police searching for missing Nitin Woocheet looking into reports of man in water off Southsea Common
DETECTIVES hunting for a missing man are looking into whether a report of a man splashing in the water off Southsea Common is linked to his disappearance.
A major three-hour sea search was launched on Friday after a man splashing and calling for help was reported to the coastguard.
Now Hampshire police has confirmed it is one line of enquiry in the search for missing Airbus engineer Nitin Woocheet, 26.
He was last seen leaving the Fawcett Inn pub in Southsea on Thursday night at around 11pm.
Officers have scoured through CCTV footage and spotted a man walking near Southsea Common at 1am.
The coastguard search started at 1.27am and involved a police launch, the search and rescue helicopter based at Lee-on-the-Solent, Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service and Portsmouth RNLI.
It was eventually scaled back and ended at 4.20am.
A spokeswoman confirmed officers are looking into many aspects but added: ‘That is one of a number of thing that we’re doing at the moment.’
Mr Woocheet’s sister Karishma, 28, was with family yesterday searching at the seafront.
At the time of the sea search, a coastguard spokesman said: ‘They were tasked to reports of a person in the water at Clarence Esplanade.’
‘After an extensive and saturated air, sea and land searching by all the units the decision was made to stand all units down until further information comes to light.’
Police have also revealed:
• Mr Woocheet’s mobile phone was recovered outside of Portsmouth Central Police Station in the early hours of March 18.
• CCTV shows a man, possibly Mr Woocheet, falling over near Portsmouth Central Police Station at about 11.25pm.
• Footage picks up the same man at Landport Terrace at around 11.45pm and near Southsea Common at around 1am.
APPEAL TO PUBLIC
Anyone with information is being asked to get in touch.
A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘If you were in the Southsea Common area, in Pier Road, Duisburg Way, Clarence Esplanade or Avenue De Caen any time between 11.45pm on Thursday evening (March 17) or 6am on Friday morning (March 18) you may be able to help with our investigation and we would like to hear from you.’
Call police on 101 quoting Op Ticket 44160109293.