A helicopter from RMB Chivenor joined Exmoor’s Search and Rescue Team and police in recovering a body from the River Exe last night.
The alarm was raised at 8.45pm after a Tiverton man failed to return home after walking his dog. A relative contacted emergency services after becoming worried.
Police deployed officers to the area and requested the assistance of a search and rescue Sea King helicopter from RMB Chivenor to help carry out a search. Exmoor’s Search and Rescue Team also assisted.
After over three hours of searching, a body was found in the River Exe at 12.15am.
The Chivenor crew made the discovery using an infrared camera and night vision goggles. After confirming they had found an object in the water, they landed on the riverbank to carry out a visual assessment. The object was confirmed as a body.
The Chivenor helicopter lifted again and hovered over the river while lowering a winchman to the water. The body was winched from the river. The Chivenor crew landed again and passed the body to paramedics who were waiting nearby.
The body was that of a man, aged 78.
Formal identification has not yet taken place, although the body is understood to be that of the missing man. His next of kin have been informed.
Devon and Cornwall Police said the death is not being treated as suspicious but confirmed it is ‘unexplained’.
The man's dog was found safe and well nearby and returned to a family member.