EXCLUSIVE: Missing X Factor star Levi Davis feared to have drowned

Missing rugby player  likely drowned in the sea off Barcelona, his devastated family was told.

His mother Julie Davis said police have told her that they now believe a man spotted in the sea by crew on a passing cruise liner is likely to be her son who vanished in October.

Officers have spoken to four crew members of a cruise liner docking in Barcelona at 6.30am on 30 October - the day after Levi disappeared - who reported seeing a man in the sea wearing the same light-coloured top as Levi.

They said the man shouted for help several times in English. A lifebuoy was thrown down to him but a subsequent search by police and coastguard found nobody.

Julie Davis, the Mother of Levi Davis, says her son was depressed after struggling with 'money worries' and 'racial prejudice' in his career when he vanished from an Irish bar in Spain

Levi Davis (pictured) is feared to have drowned off the coast of Barcelona after leaving a bar 

Detectives have also told Levi's family that they have now also discovered his phone signal was last picked up in the early hours of 30 October by a telephone mast near the port.

It was previously thought the mobile phone - which hasn't been used since his disappearance - was last pinged close to the main Sants rail station.

But detectives have told Julie that they have now traced Levi - who also appeared on Celebrity X Factor - walking to the port after visiting an Irish bar and the Hard Rock Cafe on La Rambla.

Levi's passport was found a few days after his disappearance lying on a bench just outside the port.

Levi’s family have said they are hoping port police will authorise and carry out a further search of the waters and other inaccessible areas of the port.

A spokesman for the Mossos d’Esquadra force, who had handed the case over to their specialist investigative unit, said this evening: 'The hypothesis he has drowned is one of the lines of inquiry. But other lines of inquiry remain open and haven’t been ruled out.

'We remain in contact with the missing man’s family and are keeping them informed about the evolution of the ongoing inquiry.'

In a statement released to MailOnline this evening, his mother Julie said she and one Levi's close friends, Richard Squire, had met with police, the Mosso D'esquadra, on Monday for an update on the search

She said: 'Extensive work has been done to track Levi's movements on the night of the 29 Oct and they (the police) are able to confirm that following his last reported sighting at the Hard Rock Café, Levi walked back down La Rambla and entered the commercial port.

'His phone last registered in the early hours of Saturday 30 October with a phone tower at the far end of the port closest to the sea entrance. 

Video appears to show Levi Davis leaving an Irish bar in Barcelona before his disappearance

The family provided details of the operation to locate the man in the water seen by crew on cruise liner MSC Bellissima, around 6.30am that day.

'Four members of staff confirmed seeing a man in the water with specific details including him asking for help in English and the colour of his clothing,' Julie said. 

'A life jacket was thrown from the ship and emergency Sea and Air rescue services searched the area but they were unable to find him.' 

Coastguards in Barcelona reportedly mobilised their helicopter called Helimer 203 and a vessel called Salvamar Mintaka. A boat operated by firefighters was also sent to the scene along with police and Red Cross vessels.

The search operation is said to have lasted an entire day but was called off after it was confirmed no-one was missing from the cruise liner and police confirmed no-one had been reported missing in port waters or in the sea off Barcelona.

Levi’s disappearance had not been reported to police at the time and his passport was not found until days later.

Catalan police launched a search for the rugby player and former X-Factor contestant off their own backs on November 8 before receiving an official missing persons’ report from an Ibiza-based friend on November 12.

Julie added: 'The investigation is still very much ongoing and we are hoping that the Port Police will authorise and carry out a further search of the waters and other inaccessible areas of the port.

'We would like to thank the Mosso d'esquadra and the British Consulate in Barcelona for their continued hard work.

'No further comment will be made at this time. We continue to ask that the press respect the feelings and privacy of Levi's family and friends at what is a very emotionally distressing time.'

Levi’s family have said they are hoping port police will authorise and carry out a further search of the waters and other inaccessible areas of the port.

But Spanish press are reporting a judge will have to authorise any new search of the port waters and other inaccessible areas of the port. 

 Levi Davis went missing on 29 October last year, just hours after arriving in Barcelona, Spain

Levi had been staying with Mr Squire at his home in Ibiza but had taken a ferry alone to Barcelona on 29 October.

He was last seen leaving The Old Irish Pub on Barcelona's La Rambla, a bustling street filled with bars and restaurants.

Security cameras caught him leaving the pub, after just 35-minutes at 10.05pm. He had ordered a pint while watching football on TV.

He walked the short distance north on La Rambla to the Hard Rock Cafe before heading south again and towards the port.

Levi played Premiership rugby union for Bath between 2017 and 2020, when he joined Ealing Trailfinders. A year later he signed for Worthing Raiders.

He starred on Celebrity X Factor in 2019 alongside fellow rugby stars Ben Foden and Thom Evans in a singing group known as Try Star. He was also on E4's Celebs Go Dating in 2020.