Police find lifeless body on Vltava believed to be missing Brit

A British holidaymaker jumped off a party boat over a week ago and had not been seen since.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 06.05.2024 10:53:00 (updated on 06.05.2024) Reading time: 1 minute

On Sunday evening, Prague police pulled a dead body out of the Vltava River, believed to be that of a 29-year-old Brit who jumped from a party boat on the night of April 27. A witness saw the body in the river near the Štefánik Bridge Sunday. Police have not yet revealed the identity of the deceased.

Police have been looking for Joop Sparkes, a construction worker living near the Scottish border, who visited Prague for a weekend. He is said to have jumped off a party boat in the early hours of April 28, between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. 

During the early hours of Sunday morning, other people on the boat witnessed Sparkes jumping into the Vltava River "for a swim,” British media site Sky News reports.

"It just doesn't seem real. We haven't seen police on the water since Tuesday and haven't had any answers, so we've called private investigators, and we're in discussions with them about drone searches,” Sparkes’ family told British media site The Mirror last week. 

“The boat seemed to be further downstream than the point it's believed he jumped on Friday night. There must have been about 100 people onboard, it travels very slowly, and a lot of the time it's just floating. It could only have traveled about half a mile or so. It was a very short distance,” the family added.

The family told Sky News last week that they are "unsure what to do" next amid a "language barrier problem" with the authorities. Local hospitals confirmed no record of Sparkes having been admitted.

"At the moment, we cannot confirm whether this is a missing foreigner who disappeared last weekend," a police spokesperson added.

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