Autopsy finds that Ironman triathlete drowned

The body of missing Ironman contestant David Bellet-Brissaud has been found following an extensive search by police the past couple of days.
The body of missing Ironman contestant David Bellet-Brissaud has been found following an extensive search by police the past couple of days.
Image: Eugene Coetzee/The Herald

An autopsy on Friday morning concluded that Gabonese sportsman David Bellet-Brissaud had drowned. His body was found on Thursday in the Port Elizabeth harbour‚ weighed down with a tyre attached to a rope tied around his ankles.

Bellet-Brissaud‚ 48‚ who was in Port Elizabeth to compete in the Standard Bank Ironman African Championship‚ went missing last weekend.

The discovery of his body was made after new CCTV footage was supplied by Transnet. The footage‚ in which Bellet-Brissaud was identified by the Adidas marking on the arm of his top‚ showed him on the opposite side of the harbour to where it was initially thought he had been.

In the previous CCTV footage‚ a man seen jumping between boats on previous CCTV footage was mistakenly identified as Bellet-Brissaud.

The discovery of his body has devastated his family. His brother‚ Gael‚ left the harbour in tears‚ accompanied by a police official‚ after identifying the body on Thursday afternoon.

An emotional and upset Gael asked for privacy for his family.

“Please‚ I want to beg for some time for our family now. It is a devastating time for us. We had a shock.”

Colonel Priscilla Naidu said Gael was at the mortuary on Friday morning to sort out paperwork. He did not attend the autopsy.

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