Body found near Severn Bridge

By Mark Elson   |   Senior Reporter   |
Wednesday 31st July 2019 8:59 am
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POLICE and coastguards recovered the body of a man from the River Severn near Beachley on Saturday morning (July 27).

The discovery is thought to be linked to the disappearance of a man from the old M48 Severn bridge five days earlier, but Gloucestershire Police say no formal identification has yet taken place.

Another man was also reported missing from the bridge on June 1 by Avon and Somerset Police.

A Gloucestershire Police spokeswoman said: “Police were called to Beachley shortly before 9.50am on Saturday morning after the body of a man had been found.

“The death is being treated as non-suspicious at this time. Formal identification has not yet taken place but the man’s next of kin has been informed.”

Officers were assisted by a team from Chepstow Coastguard following the gruesone discovery in the Severn close to Beachley army barracks and the mouth of the River Wye.

Avon and Somerset Police police confirmed on Monday, July 22: “At 1.47pm today we received a report a man had entered the Severn Estuary from the M48 Severn Bridge.

“HM Coastguard and the police helicopter are currently carrying out a search of the area.”

They later said the search had been called off and the man had been officially declared a ’missing person’ after emergency services were unable to find him.

A SARA spokesperson said after the search: “Both Beachley lifeboats were launched, as was SARA Lifeboat 14 from Newport.

“They conducted a series of searches in conjunction with both the police and Coastguard helicopters, with NHS HART Team paramedics being on board the larger SARA Lifeboat 1.

“The three boats were stood down at 4.30pm, with nothing having been found, and our thoughts are with the family of the individual concerned.”

The sea search was the third this year involving incidents on the old Severn Bridge.

A man was seen falling from the crossing around 7pm on Saturday, June 1, but despite an extensive search, no one was found.

That tragedy came the day before police formally identified a woman’s body found off the West Wales coast as a missing Hereford doctor.

Dr Uma Kulkarni’s car was found beside the old Severn Bridge, in early April, 130 miles away from where her body was recovered three weeks later.

A police spokesman said at the time: “The body of a woman recovered from the water off St Anne’s Head on Wednesday, April 24, has been confirmed to be that of missing 42-year-old woman Uma Kulkarni.”

In a separate incident late on Saturday, July 20, a man climbed up onto the suspension cables of the bridge.

SARA Beachley and Portishead lifeboat crews, with Chepstow Coastguard and police attended the scene before he climbed down to safety just over an hour later.

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