Death of swimmer found on Eastney beach ‘not suspicious’

DISCOVERY Eastney Beach
DISCOVERY Eastney Beach
Havant Road, Hayling Island, close to the Yew Tree Inn. Credit: Google Street View

Long delays on major road after two parked vehicles obstruct traffic

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POLICE have named a man whose body was discovered on Eastney seafront after he apparently went for a swim in the sea.

Josef Motley, 29, failed to return to shore near Fort Cumberland, Eastney, after he got undressed and went for a swim at about 1.30pm on Thursday.

His body was discovered at about 11.30pm that evening.

Hampshire Constabulary say the death of Mr Motley, who was of no fixed address, was not suspicious.

His next-of-kin has been informed and police are preparing a report for the coroner.

A major land and air search was sparked earlier in the day by a fisherman who realised the man hadn’t come back to the shore and his clothes were still on the beach.

The Solent Coastguard was the first organisation sent out to scour Eastney seafront and Langstone Harbour.

Portsmouth Lifeboat Station, Portsmouth and Southsea Voluntary Lifeguards and a coastguard helicopter and police launch boat joined in the task.

However the search was called off after several hours at 6.50pm and the incident was handed over to the police.

A force marine unit was deployed.

Steve Mann, watch manager at The Solent Coastguard, said: ‘Rescue teams were dispatched within one minute of the 999 call being made.

‘We did all we could to locate the man by conducting a thorough search.

‘At 6.50pm the matter was handed over to the police.’

Barry Taylor, lifeboat operations manager of Portsmouth Lifeboat Station, which is part of the RNLI, said: ‘We sent out a boat with a crew of seven people to scan the water.

‘Another seven staff remained at the station and helped bring the boat in afterwards.’

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were also called out and searched a storm drain on Eastney shore using specialist equipment.

Police say Southern Water also assisted with searching the storm drain.

However the search and rescue operation was called off as unsuccessful after several hours.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: ‘A body of a man has been located on Eastney beach.

‘It has been confirmed this was the same male who was had going into the water earlier.

‘His family have been informed. No suspicious circumstances have been identified.

‘Hampshire Constabulary would like to thank partner agencies for all their assistance in the search for this missing person.’