David Rene Roger Bellet-Brissaud Picture: Facebook

Port Elizabeth - Port Elizabeth police in the Eastern Cape have recovered the body of missing international Ironman contestant David Rene Roger Bellet-Brissaud, 48, from the Port Elizabeth harbour on Thursday. 

He had been missing for a week. The athlete's siblings had travelled to South Africa to assist with the search, which ended with the gruesome find - Bellet-Brissaud's body was found with a tyre bound to his feet.

Bellet-Brissaud and his wife booked into the Paxton Hotel in Port Elizabeth last week. After settling in, the couple took a walk on the beachfront and later dined with friends at the Boardwalk complex. 

At about 9 pm on Friday, the couple retired to their rooms. At about 1 am, his wife woke up and noticed that her husband was not in the room and had been missing ever since. 

CCTV footage showed that Bellet-Brissaud left the room and walked out of the hotel and walked down the street, police said at the time. 

An extensive search was led by the police while the athlete's family were already in Port Elizabeth and had previously held a press conference to offer R12 000 as a reward for information on Bellet-Brissaud's whereabouts. 


Picture: SA Police Service

Police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu, said that after viewing additional CCTV footage at the harbour, police diverted their search to another section of the port. 

"From about 10:00 PE K9 Search and Rescue members. Warrant Officer Etienne Gerber and Paul Franks with their dogs searched the area in a rubber duck. While circling an area in the bay, Gerber’s dog, Misty immediately reacted to a scent."

The police divers were contacted and within 10 minutes of entering the water, the body of Bellet-Brissaud was found. Police have opened an inquest docket and no foul play is suspected. 

A postmortem will be conducted to establish the cause of his death. 

African News Agency/ANA