Merseyside Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission after a man’s body was pulled out of the River Mersey.
The body was recovered from the water on Saturday morning and detectives say they are keeping an “open-mind” about the death.
The man, who has been identified as a 51-year-old from Birkenhead, had been held in custody by the force earlier in the week.
Specialist police, fire and coastguard teams were sent to the Twelve Quays port in Wirral at 7.45am after 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 and his next of kin were informed.
Merseyside Police say detectives are keeping an open mind and are “treating his death as unexplained at this early stage of the investigation”.
But 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 will be carried out to establish a cause of death.
As well as police officers, coastguard and search and rescue teams from Liverpool and Wirral were sent to the scene following the report.
A spokesman for Liverpool Coastguard said: “We were informed by the security guards at Twelve Quays in Seacombe of a report of a body found in the Mersey.
“We sent Marine Fire One, Hoylake Coastguard team, New Brighton coastguard team and Crosby coastguard team to assist along with the Mersey sector manager. The body was recovered near to the terminal and sent to an ambulance.”