Two men were arrested on suspicion of murder and released on police bail after the body of Rico Dardis was found in the sea at Christchurch

Two men, aged 49 and 51, have been released on bail after being questioned on suspicion of the murder of Rico Dardis whose body was found floating in the sea near Christchurch on Monday.

Dorset Police were first alerted to the incident by two members of the public who saw two men acting suspiciously on board a boat. Shortly afterwards the two men were stopped in a vehicle and detained.

Detective Inspector Marcus Hester, of The Major Crime Investigation Team, said “Dorset Police have launched a major investigation to ensure that we establish exactly what happened to Rico and I am renewing our appeal for witnesses and anyone with information about Rico’s death to come forward.

“I am keen to hear from anyone who may have seen three men on a green and white Maxim motorcruiser boat prior to this incident taking place, or any suspicious behaviour in the area of Friars Cliff and Wick Lane.

“All calls will be treated in the strictest of confidence.”

The body of 30-year-old Dardis was discovered near Groynes at Seaway Avenue shortly after 9pm on Monday 27 May. An inquest was opened and adjourned on Thursday morning at the coroner’s court in Bournemouth with the cause of death undetermined, although some of the injuries inflicted on Mr Dardis appear to have been made by a boat propeller.