A FUNDRAISER has been launched to help the family of a man who went missing in Helensburgh.

A major search operation was launched after Joshua Gayton was reported missing on Tuesday, April 16.

He had last been seen on East Clyde Street in the early hours of that morning.

A body was found in the water off Helensburgh on the evening of Sunday, April 21.

Police said on Sunday night that while formal identification had yet to take place, Mr Gayton's family had been informed of the discovery.

The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Now, friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe appeal to help Joshua's family with funeral expenses.

The founder of the appeal, Jayne Buggin, said: "This is something that I didn't think I would be writing but the money we are funding for is a funeral.

"Let's help Katie, his sister and family bring him home and give him the best that he deserves."

A police spokesperson said: "Around 6.20pm on Sunday April 21, police received a report the body of a man had been found in water off Helensburgh.

"Formal identification has still to take place, however, the family of Joshua Gayton, last seen in Helensburgh on Tuesday, April 16, has been notified.

"A post mortem examination will be carried out in due course, however, the death is not being treated as suspicious.

"A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal."

A Royal Navy spokesperson said: “The thoughts and sympathies of the Royal Navy go out to engineering technician (Marine Engineering) Joshua Gayton’s family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time and we would ask that their privacy is respected.

“Additional queries with respect to any ongoing investigation should be directed to Police Scotland.”

Police Scotland had issued an appeal to trace a person who was seen on CCTV speaking to Joshua outside a restaurant in West Clyde Street at around 12.25am.

Officers said on Monday that the person had come forward and provided information for their enquiries.

The fundraiser had exceeded its £2,500 target within hours of its launch, with more than £3,500 donated as this article was published just before midday on Monday.

To donate towards the fundraiser search Joshua Gayton on GoFundMe.