The man found by the Adur Ferry Bridge last week was a ‘most loving grandad’ who leaves behind a devastated family, his wife has said.
Part of Shoreham was cordoned off last Thursday when 49-year-old Michael Long’s body was discovered in the afternoon.
Emergency services were called and Sussex Police confirmed the body of a man had been found who had sadly died.
Helen Long, who was married to him for 13 years, said she is struggling to cope with what happened.
She told the Herald: “We are all so shocked and devastated at what’s happened.
“Mike was the love of my life, he was just my whole world.”
Mike and Helen met in 2004 on a dating chatline.
He came over from Eastbourne to Shoreham to meet her and it was love at first sight.
Helen, 45, said: “I must admit I fell head over heels as soon as I saw him.
“I knew straight away.
Mike, who worked for a security company when he met her, was a trained swimming instructor and lifeguard.
He also loved cricket and was a big Arsenal fan, Helen said.
Helen added: “He loved comedy, just anything that made him laugh.”
Mike’s daughter Amy, 27, lives in Eastbourne and is engaged to be married.
Helen said: “She’s devastated, absolutely devastated like most of us.”
Mike was also a loving stepfather to Helen’s four children, and a ‘most loving grandad’.
“He was, is and will always be my world. He was my best friend and soulmate.”
Police are not treating Mike’s death as suspicious, but the cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
An inquest is expected to take place in the coming months.
Members of the public who knew Mike are welcome to attend to his funeral service, which will take place at 2.20pm on Monday, November 27, at Worthing Crematorium.