Coastal search for missing Purton man ends in tragedy
THE body of a missing man from Purton has been found washed up on the rocks near a beach in Dorset.
Simon Douthwaite, 41, was found west of the Cobb, Monmouth Beach in Lyme Regis, yesterday morning following a search involving police, the force helicopter, police dogs, coastguards and the lifeboat The search started on Wednesday and his body was found at 10.15am yesterday.
A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: “We received a report of a missing man from the Purton area on Wednesday morning.
“Intelligence suggested that the man might be in the Dorset area so we liaised with our colleagues in Dorset Police.
“A search of the local area was conducted with help from local coastguards and search and rescue teams.
“The body of a man was discovered on a beach in the Lyme Regis area on Thursday morning.
“The body has yet to be formally identified, but we believe this to be the person reported missing.
“We are now in the process of informing his next of kin.”
A spokesman for Dorset Police could not confirm whether the body was found in the water or on the beach.
The spokesman said: “At approximately 10.15am, police responded to a report that a body had been discovered west of the Cobb, Monmouth Beach in Lyme Regis.
“Officers, ambulance staff and the coastguard attended the location where a man was pronounced dead.
“The coroner has been notified, but next of kin are yet to be informed.
“The death is not being treated as suspicious.
“Dorset Police would like to thank members of the public who have assisted with the search for this missing man over the past couple of days.”
Dorset Police and coastguards started searching for Mr Douthwaite following concern for his welfare on Wednesday.
The lifeboat was launched twice that day to join the search, in the first shouts of the year.
The crew first launched at 2pm to help search to the east or west of Lyme Regis harbour.
A lifeboat spokesman said: “After two and a half hours carrying out a shoreline sweep, and with visibility failing, the lifeboat was stood down. “But, just 15 minutes after returning, it was launched again following a report that a man had appeared to fall from the high wall of the harbour.”