AN investigation is continuing today after the body of a 51-year-old man was pulled from the River Mersey.

Merseyside Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission after the body was found at Twelve Quays port in Wirral pm Saturday.

The man, who has been identified as a 51-year-old from Birkenhead, had been in custody by the force earlier in the week.

Emergency services were called at 7.45am by a dock worker who saw what he thought was a body in the water underneath an iron pier.

On arrival specialist officers removed the man's body from the water and cordoned off the area to allow a full search.

The man was identified by police and his next of kin have been informed.

Detectives say they are “keeping an open mind” and are “treating his death as unexplained at this early stage of the investigation”.

A spokesman said: “The force has made a referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission due to the man having been held in police custody for offences of being drunk and disorderly and criminal damage on July 9 and July 10 respectively for which he had been charged and released on bail pending a court hearing next month.”

A Home Office post mortem was carried out on Sunday to establish the cause of death but results have been withheld pending toxicology reports.