POLICE are continuing to investigate the “unexplained” death of a man whose body was found in a Southampton river.

The man was discovered close to the Itchen Bridge in an area of water between St Mary’s and Woolston on Wednesday afternoon.

A lifeboat was initially deployed to try and rescue the man, who has not yet been identified by officers, but it was ascertained that he had already died.

Police are stepping up their investigation after saying the death is “unexplained but not suspicious” after he was discovered at about 1pm on Wednesday.

Initially he was described as being in his 20s, 30s or 40s but officers now say he was 31 years old.

Solent Coastguards were called to the waterway after reports that an object was floating near St Mary’s Stadium and crews from Hamble and Hillhead lifeboat were dispatched to the scene.

Officers from Hampshire constabulary then arrived, along with South Central Ambulance Service, who were called to Empress Road.

Following the discovery a police spokesman said: “Police are investigating after the body of a man was found in the River Itchen in Southampton.

“It was discovered in the water near to the Itchen Bridge and was brought ashore.

“The body is said to be that of a man in his 20s, 30s or 40s. The death is currently being treated as unexplained.”

The HM Coroner’s office for Hampshire was unavailable for comment at the time the Daily Echo went to press.