A MAN is dead after a "serious incident" on Itchen Bridge in the early hours of this morning.
The man, believed to be in his 20s or 30s, was recovered from the water on the Woolston side of the bridge but was unresponsive.
He was taken to Southampton General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The bridge has since been shut and will remain so to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians until at least 2pm, causing gridlock for rush hour traffic this morning.
It is not known how the man came to be in the water but police are treating it as a "serious incident".
Emergency services were called just after midnight to recover the man from the water on the Woolston side of the bridge.
Witnesses who saw it happen were able to help Solent Coastguard teams on the water from Southampton and Fareham to quickly locate where the man was.
Calshot Lifeboat managed to get the man out of the water after the Southampton Launch Patrol identified him.
He was taken by lifeboat to Southampton Docks where he was taken to Southampton General Hospital by ambulance.
South Central Ambulance Service sent one ambulance, a team leader and the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) to the scene.
He was "unresponsive" when he reached paramedics but still alive, however nothing could be done to save him and he died in hospital.
Inspector Dean Gower of Hampshire Police said: “In order to facilitate our investigations in and around the scene it has been necessary to close the bridge in both directions.
“We anticipate as it stands that it will be closed until approximately 2pm this afternoon.
“We just ask people to bear with us and seek alternative routes while that is closed and we concentrate on our investigations.”
Motorists trying to get into Southampton from the Woolston side of town are facing massive delays as a result of the bridge closure.
Long queues are snaking along Patterson Hill, Pear Tree Avenue and into Woolston, with very little movement.