A Virgin Islands police detective from the United Kingdom was found dead on the morning of Oct. 7 in a jeep submerged in the ocean near the heliport in Road Town.

The officer, Paul France, had worked for almost 40 years in police services in the UK and the VI, according to the Police Information Office.

On Oct. 7 morning, police received a report of the vehicle and arrived to find a white jeep fully submerged in the water near the shore, they said.

Police said members of the public assisted police and fire officers on the scene, and a video posted by JTV News showed three men swimming down to the vehicle repeatedly before surfacing with the body.

Mr. France was later declared deceased. Photos circulating on social media also showed the vehicle being removed from the water with a crane.

Tyre tracks

A set of tyre tracks led to the shoreline near where the jeep was recovered. The tracks made a direct line from the parking lot near the heliport to the ocean, proceeding across a section of field, across the heliport, across another section of field, and to a line of boulders bordering the water.

In a press release, Police Commissioner Mark Collins conveyed condolences to Mr. France’s family and thanked members of the public who assisted in the response.

“The [Royal VI Police Force] has suffered the loss of one of our own,” Mr. Collins said. “Detective France was a highly regarded member of our organisation, and this tragedy profoundly saddens us.”

Seen anything?

Police are asking anyone with information about Police Detective Paul France’s death to contact the police Intelligence Unit at 368-9339.