Hampshire & Isle of Wight

'Safety fear' stopped police pulling man from lake

Police defended a decision not to enter a Hampshire boating lake where a man was floating in the water, saying it may have risked the safety of others.

Emergency services were called to Walpole Park, Gosport, at 1220 GMT on Thursday.

Fire crews and police officers arrived about 15 minutes after the man was seen entering the water but waited for specialist crews to retrieve the body.

Officers took the decision because there were "no obvious signs of life".

The man has been named by police as 41-year-old Simon Burgess, of Burnhams Walk, Gosport.

Superintendent Phil Winchester said: "Emergency services were called at 1220 GMT to reports of a body face down in Walpole Park boating lake in Gosport.

"Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) were first at the scene and established a cordon. Local police were next to arrive.

"On arrival police officers were told by HFRS that a body was in the water and witnesses at the scene told officers that they had seen a man enter the water up to 15 minutes before emergency services were called.

"Officers at the scene saw no obvious signs of life so immediate entry into the water was not appropriate as it may have compromised the lives of others.

"HFRS informed police officers that a specialist unit to recover the body from the water was en route from Fareham."

Police are investigating the man's death.

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