A MAN’s body was found in the depths of Canvey Lake prompting a police probe following the “traumatic” discovery.

A cordon was put in place at 6.40am this morning (August 30) as specialist officers launched their investigation.

It came after the body of a man, believed to be in his 50s, was found in the water.

A large police and ambulance presence was spotted, with “five police cars” in the car park.

Forensic teams also attended, while police were seen searching the dyke.

The man’s death is being treated as unexplained as police inquiries continue.

A passerby, who wished to remain anonymous, watched on in horror after spotting what looked “like a body covered in aluminium sheet” - and was saddened to hear a man had died.

The 73-year-old, who walks his dog in the area, said: “I only saw it from a distance, about 100 yards.

“They wouldn’t let me through, but when I said ‘that looks like a body under that aluminium sheet’, the copper just replied ‘doesn’t look good, you are not allowed down there’.

“They’d been there a while as they were there at 6.30am. Where I saw it, it was on the grass about 40 yards from the lake next to the dyke. It is so sad.

“If it’s foul play it’s of course a shock. If it turns out to be an accident, someone fell in or had an accident, not so strange. This area is used as a quick way home from the town for those that live in the Link Road/Avenues area and crossing the dyke in the dark is not a great idea.”

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Dave Blackwell, councillor for Canvey Central, said: “We are really tight-knit in Canvey and are completely flabbergasted.

“I can’t remember the last time something like this happened here. It happens all over the country, but when it’s right on your doorstep it’s quite a shock. I was informed early in the morning by a town council warden who went down there and police told her what happened. She let me know straight away.

“Nobody knows what’s happened to the poor soul, so it’s wrong to jump to conclusions. We have to think of this man’s family.

“It does make you wonder if someone was waiting for their loved one to come home and then didn’t.

“It is really sad, and must’ve been traumatic for the police to go and take the body out the water. The person who found him must also be traumatised too, so we do have to think of all involved.”