A POLICE underwater search team is still trying to find the body of a best man from Coseley who vanished in deep water after going skinny dipping in a hotel lake following a wedding reception on Friday.

Just hours after making a joint speech with two other best men, Patrick Cody went for a late night swim in the lake at Patshull Park Hotel and Country Club, near Wolverhampton.

The 26-year-old had been at the wedding of friends Dave Abbiss and Sarah-Jane Shaw when the tragedy happened.

Father Joseph Marikuzhi, who married the couple at St Chad’s RC Church, Sedgley, earlier the same day said the news was a “great shock.”

He said he had know all three throughout the 10 years he has been a priest at the church as they were regular church goers.

Father Joseph spoke briefly to the devastated couple, David, aged 26 and Sarah aged 25,who live in Wombourne, on Saturday when they called to collect their marriage certificate and offered words of comfort.

“They were very upset, she was crying and it was a really sad situation,” he said, adding that prayers were said for the families during yesterday’s services.

He had also offered Patrick’s father, Denis Cody, his condolences, when he phoned him on Saturday.

Mr Cody, aged 60, is headteacher of St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Hillcrest Road, Dudley.

A spokeswoman at the family home in Aylesford Close, said they were all too upset to talk.

In a statement the family said: “Patrick was a friendly, popular and much loved son, brother and friend. He had a passion for music, literature and sport and a lively sense of humour.

“His whole family is devastated by the loss of a young man who loved life and brought such happiness to so many.”

Patrick, whose uncle is former Dudley mayor of 1997, Bill Cody, from Wall Heath, was planning to follow in his father’s footsteps having signed up to start a teacher training PGCE course at Birmingham University in September.

A keen Aston Villa fan, he attended St Chad’s RC Primary School, Sedgley and Bishop Milner Catholic School, Dudley. Patrick graduated from Keele University in 2005, since when he had a number of temporary jobs.

A relative, who was a guest at the wedding said on the advice of family David and Sarah had flown out to Florida yesterday on their honeymoon. "It was felt that it was best they get away at this time," he said, adding: "I didn't know anything until the alarm was raised and the police were called. Guests went outside to look for him. Everyone was very concerned for the missing young man and David and Sarah were very upset."

Hotel manager Stephen Kimbells, of Patshull Park, a popular wedding reception venue at Pattingham, said guests had told staff that the best man swam about 100 yards out into the lake and the alarm was raised about 20 minutes later when there was no sign of him and guests started to worry.

An underwater search team from Nottingham is using specialist equipment to search the lake.

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said a family liaison officer was supporting Patrick’s family and added: “These are obviously very upsetting circumstances for the family and friends of the man involved. We’re doing everything we can to support them and keep them up to date about the search.”