Two bodies found in Norfolk estuary

Police say a birdwatcher spotted the man and woman on the mud banks of Breydon Water near Great Yarmouth

 Police officers were working at the scene with the coastguard and fire and rescue services. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

Police officers were working at the scene with the coastguard and fire and rescue services. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

The deaths of a man and a woman whose bodies were found on the mud banks of a protected wetland in Norfolk are being treated as unexplained, police have said.

A birdwatcher using a telescope spotted the two bodies at Breydon Water near Great Yarmouth, according to local reports.

Norfolk police said officers were called to the scene shortly after 11.20am on Thursday and were working with colleagues from the coastguard and Norfolk fire and rescue service.

It is understood it could take two or three hours to recover the bodies because of their location. There are reportedly three fire engines in a nearby supermarket car park that backs onto the water.

Breydon Water is the gateway to the Norfolk Broads river system and is the UK’s largest protected wetland. In the care of the RSPB, it is a popular area with birdwatchers.

DI Chris Burgess, who is overseeing the inquiry, said: “It has taken some time for officers to recover the bodies due to where they were discovered.

“The deaths are currently being treated as unexplained. We are in the early stages of the inquiry and it would be inappropriate to speculate any further.”

Postmortem examinations will be held in due course to establish the cause of death, police said.