POLICE were today desperately trying to identify a man found dead on Blackpool beach.
A dog walker made the grim discovery on the sands opposite the Imperial Hotel in North Shore yesterday morning.
The man is in his 40s. Detectives say the death is being treated as “unexplained” and are now carrying out tests which they hope will tell them who the man is.
They are also trawling through missing persons databases.
Det Insp Becky Smith, from Blackpool CID, said: “We are trying to trace the identity of the man so we can track down what has happened.
“Someone has got a relative who isn’t aware of what has happened. We want to try and inform them as soon as possible.
“We don’t think he has been in the water a long time. There is nothing at the moment to suggest anything suspicious.
“We are still looking through reports of missing people just in case he could be one of them.”
Officers have released details of the man’s tattoos in the hope a relative or friend may recognise them and contact the police.
Det Insp Smith added: “He has a tattoo of a swallow on his right hand on the base of his thumb. He also has a tattoo like a dagger or crucifix with a scroll around it on his right forearm.
“He was wearing a gold ring on his right hand.
“If anyone recognises these features or anyone is concerned about someone who went out on Thursday night and didn’t come home, please contact us.”
Police and Coastguard crews were called to the scene at 7.30am yesterday.
Paul Little, from Lytham St Annes Coastguard Station, said: “We were called down to assist the police. We had six Coastguard staff here to carry the body up.
“The tide went right up against the wall and that was where the body was found. It looked like it might have been there overnight.”
A red cover was placed over the body as crime scene investigators carried out their inquiries.
People passing by along the Promenade watched on in shock.
Andrew Shaw, 44, of Clifford Road, North Shore, said: “It’s sad. I saw them put a red blanket over the body and then put it in a body bag.
“It’s always happening but it’s still shocking. It could have been in the sea from overnight. It’s not nice.”
John Bates, 30, who was staying in a Promenade hotel, said: “It’s shocking. I’ve come on holiday with my kids and it’s not something you want them to see. It’s sad really. Anything could have happened to him.”
The man is white, 6ft tall with blue eyes and a shaved head.
He was wearing a black zip-up jacket, dark trousers, blue shirt and brown jumper.
Anyone with information is urged to call Blackpool Police on (01253) 293933.