Deaths of couple discovered at Breydon Water not being treated as suspicious, police confirm

Fire Search and Rescue, the coastguard and the police at Breydon Water's edge pull an inflatable boa

Fire Search and Rescue, the coastguard and the police at Breydon Water's edge pull an inflatable boat as they recover two bodies, believed to be a man and a woman, from the mud bank. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

The deaths of a couple whose bodies were found together on a mudbank in Great Yarmouth are not being treated as suspicious.

DI Chris Burgess at Breydon Water as two bodies are recovered, believed to be a man and a woman, fro

DI Chris Burgess at Breydon Water as two bodies are recovered, believed to be a man and a woman, from the mud bank. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Officers have identified the man and woman, a couple in their early 60s and from the local area, and are satisfied there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident.

At around 11.20am yesterday, a birdwatcher was surveying Breydon Water, near Breydon Bridge, when they spotted two bodies on the muddy tidal banks of the River Yare. They alerted the police, who sent specialist units, CID and Scene of Crime officers to investigate.

What followed was a lengthy process to recover the bodies, with firefighters from Great Yarmouth, Carrow and Urban Search and Rescue all supporting police in the operation. Coastguard teams from Gorleston and Winterton offered additional support, along with Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat crews.

Emergency services were at the scene throughout the day, with the two bodies eventually recovered at around 3pm.

Fire Search and Rescue, the coastguard and the police at Breydon Water's edge to recover two bodies,

Fire Search and Rescue, the coastguard and the police at Breydon Water's edge to recover two bodies, believed to be a man and a woman, from the mud bank. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016


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The incident created an eerie atmosphere on the surrounding area – police cars, forensic units and fire engines were dotted around the nearby Asda car park throughout the day, the closest access point they had.

With the tide out, emergency services were required to work together to assess the safest way to reach the bodies, with at least 10 officers attending the scene.

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Chief Inspector Nathan Clark, of Great Yarmouth Police, said: 'This was an operation which required police to work closely with our colleagues in the coastguard, and fire services to work out the safest possible way to recover the bodies and investigate the surrounding

area. Once the bodies were recovered the next task was to identify the people and look for next of kin, while also gathering as much information as possible to ascertain just how this tragic incident happened.'

Fire Search and Rescue, the coastguard and the police at Breydon Water's edge to recover two bodies,

Fire Search and Rescue, the coastguard and the police at Breydon Water's edge to recover two bodies, believed to be a man and a woman, from the mud bank. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

As the story unfolded, passers-by using close-by Weavers Way were left baffled by the operation. Ian Harris, 69, of Great Yarmouth, a second birdwatcher, said: 'I saw the police and coastguard and that a lot was going on, but had no idea what.'

Another witness to the operation, a dog-walker, added: 'It is not unusual to see people rescuing boats there, but just from the atmosphere you could tell that this wasn't the case this time around.'

Detective Inspector Chris Burgess, who is overseeing the inquiry, said: 'It took some time for officers to recover the bodies due to where they were discovered.

'The deaths are currently being treated as unexplained. We are in the early stages of the inquiry and it would be inappropriate to speculate any further.'

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Posting about the incident on social media, a spokesman from Gorleston Coastguard said: 'The coastguard team would like to offer our thoughts and condolences to the families involved at this difficult time.'

There was a boat near the scene, but it is not thought to be connected with the discovery of the bodies.

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