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Body of man, 75, found by his boat
A SWINDON man has been found dead near his boat moored in the Severn estuary after his disappearance sparked a major search by the coastguard.
The 75-year-old man, who has not been identified, was reported missing just before 11am on Saturday when his sail boat was found empty at St Pierre Pill, near Chepstow, south Wales.
Swansea Coastguard said its owner had been on board Friday evening doing some work but failed to meet a friend on Saturday as planned.
It prompted a major search and rescue operation involving coastguards as well as the multi-agency Severn Area Rescue Association.
Gwent Police also said its officers joined in the hunt - and the body of a man had been found in the water just before 2pm.
At this stage the circumstances surrounding his death are unknown and police were unable to confirm the details, although a spokesman for Swansea coastguard said they believed the man had fallen in the water accidentally.
He said: “We received a call shortly before 11am on Saturday so a lifeboat was scrambled to search the waters.
“Almost three hours later we found the man’s body close to his boat. However, it was stuck in mud so we had to wait until the tide was out before we could recover it.
“His body was close to the boat so it is believed he fell in accidentally.”
A spokesman for the force said: “We were called by the coastguard at 11.10am on Saturday morning regarding a man who reported missing from his boat at St Pierre Pill.
“Police and the coastguard discovered the 75-year-old man, who was from the Swindon area, deceased in the water at 1.55pm.
“His death is not currently being treated as suspicious and the family have been informed and are being comforted by specially trained officers.”
The deceased's next of kin and coroner have both been notified of the death.