A BODY washed ashore in north Wales has been formally identified as that of the renowned French translator Bernard Hoepffner.

Mr Hoepffner was seen in the water off St Davids in May, sparking a large air, sea and land search.

For several weeks police appealed for information about the identity of the man seen in the water, saying they believed him to be a foreign national with links to the local area

Last week officers announced they believed the man to be Mr Hoepffner from Dieulefit, in southern France, who had lived in St Davids in the 1980s.

North Wales Police were called to Tywyn on Friday June 9 after reports of a body being discovered.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman, said: “We can confirm the body found washed ashore at Tywyn beach in south Gwynedd is that of Bernard Hoepffner.

“His next of kin have been informed.

“Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time.”

Mr Hoepffner translated works by George Orwell, Mark Twain and Herman Melville.

His brother, Jacques, said he believed his brother had been visiting old haunts when he was swept out to sea.