The man overboard tragedy wasn't reported for almost four hours

A body, believed to be that of missing yachtsman Rene Yves Louis Morvan, has been found on the French coast.

A spokesman for Guernsey Police said: ‘The French authorities have recovered a body.

‘They’re yet to absolutely confirm it is the one who went over from the yacht but it’s believed to be Mr Morvan.’

Mr Morvan, 63, was reported missing by his skipper and two crewmates of the French yacht Jouvente in the early hours of Sunday 12 May after they had moored up at St Peter Port

The report came three and three quarter hours after Mr Morvan fell overboard off Les Hanois Lighthouse, Guernsey at around 9pm on Saturday night.

The three crew were arrested by Guernsey Police, after causing suspicion because of the delay, and released on police bail after interviews.

The men have been allowed to return home.

The Guernsey Police spokesman said they will continue to liaise with French authorities as the investigation into the circumstances of the incident continues.

Major search for missing man

The tragic man overboard incident sparked an extensive air and sea search by local emergency services.

A spokesman for St Peter Port RNLI lifeboat station said: ‘At
about 00:45 on Sunday 12 May the French yacht Jouvente, having just arrived
in St Peter Port advised the duty marina staff that they had a man in
the water.

‘When questioned further it transpired that this had in fact occurred at around 21:00 on Saturday, off the
Hanois Lighthouse.

‘The lifeboat crew were immediately paged and departed St
Peter Port at 01:10 and Channel Island Air Search took off shortly

‘At 04:12 the Channel Island Air Search aircraft was stood
down and a resumption of searching by the a/c arranged for 0600.

05:20 the Ambulance and Rescue Service Inshore rescue boats were
requested. They were tasked with searching the inshore waters of
Rocquaine Bay and Lihou Island and later up as far as Richmond corner
and the outlying rocks. They were stood down at 09:35.’

The spokesman added: ‘A substantial area south and south west of the Island were searched
based on the information given by the crew of the vessel in addition the
Big Russel and Little Russel were both also searched, unfortunately to
no avail.

‘At 09:30 the lifeboat returned to St Peter Port to
refuel and at that time it was decided to suspend the search until the
time of the incident and any other relevant information could be better

‘The Channel Island Air Search aircraft returned to the
airport for fuel and crew change at 09:45 and the crew were also advised
that the search had been suspended.

‘At 12:55 as a result of further information Channel Island Air Search
took off and searched an area between Boue Blondel of the west coast of
Guernsey and the south west bank of the Casquets, again nothing was found, the
aircraft returned to Guernsey at 15:38.

‘There being no further
information and with the weather deteriorating the operation was
terminated at 18:00.’

(Pictures: The French yacht Jouvente – Credit: Tony Rive.

(The French yacht Jouvente being moved from number 5 berth to the Border Agency compound. Credit: Tony Rive)