The body of a man from Hounslow who went missing in the River Thames was discovered by specialist divers "wedged between two boulders" on the riverbed.

Members of Specialist Group International's (SGI) dive team recovered the body in the river at Egham following a concern for safety call to the emergency services.

The man was seen last in the water between the Runnymede Pleasure grounds and the Bell Weir lock at around 2pm on Sunday (May 7).

The Specialist Group International on the river during the search

Emergency services launched a large-scale operation to find him , with a large section of the river closed off to other river-users.

River Thames police search: Specialist teams searching river after man 'last seen in water' near Runnymede Pleasure Grounds

SGI operations manager Tim Barnes explained that the initial response was from the emergency services following the 999 call.

After they had arrived at the scene and assessed the situation, SGI was informed and sent to moorings on the river.

"When the services were at the scene a decision was made that a victim was underwater and needed rescuing," he said, adding representatives from the Environment Agency had been unsuccessfully using a fish finder, an instrument used to locate fish underwater.

Dive supervisor Tony Tennant said: "Once we arrived the main issue was trying to locate a viable witness - the people who have seen the last entry point of this guy. It's quite hard as people are distressed and you can get mixed messages.

"Our hot zone, the area where we believe the person is likely to be, was quite wide at this point."

A diver entered the water at 3.45pm, and although almost two hours had passed from the initial call, Mr Tennant said they treat every case as a "savable life".

"As time goes by that possibility [they are still alive] is reduced," he added.

"We have a diver and one stand-by. One of them goes down and the other is on the shore as a back up. It's 7m deep and there's no visibility once you're in there.

"When they were in the water they created an arc from spot of the last known sighting - where this guy entered the water. We have to bear in mind there's lots of boulders, shopping trolleys and bikes down there."

A diver in the water during the search

After some time searching, the diver was unable to find the missing man.

"By then the main witness arrived back at the scene who was able to indicate the last seen point so we were able to narrow down the hot zone to 5m to 10m," added Mr Barnes.

The same diver continued with the search and eight minutes later located the body "wedged in between two boulders" on the river bed.

The diver stayed with the body and "remained calm" while waiting for the signal from the river bank to bring him to the surface.

Medics were then waiting on the banks to do "sign of life checks" but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man's body was recovered just before 7pm. His next of kin have been informed.

Mr Barnes warned people to take care on the river, particularly when the weather gets warmer.

"Make sure you wear proper protection and life jackets," he said. "Bear in mind it's not like a swimming pool , the water will take you by surprise."

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