TRIBUTES have been paid to a man who was found dead on a beach.

The dead man, named locally as boat owner Ken Walton, was discovered on Monmouth Beach in Lyme Regis by deputy harbourmaster Mike Higgs.

The discovery on Saturday morning led to a section of the beach being cordoned off as the police and authorities removed the body, which was found next to Mr Walton's boat, called The Mudlark.

It is not yet known what caused the death, but Dorset Police have confirmed they are not treating it as suspicious.

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “A section of the beach was cordoned off and an ambulance was called to the scene.

“When the authorities arrived, the man was pronounced dead. The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

Tributes to Mr Walton have been flooding in after the shock discovery.

Murray Saunders, a friend of Mr Walton, said: “He was a really nice old boy. Everybody who knew him was shocked by the news. It happened very suddenly and everyone is pretty upset about it.

“He was quite well known in the town and he will be missed by everyone.”

Ben Walker, manager of the Volunteer Inn, saw Mr Walton on an almost-daily basis at the pub.

Mr Walker said: “Because he spent most of the time on the boat we were like his living room. He used to come in and look after the fire and he used to drink coffee all day.

“He was a lovely chap, he was loved by everyone who knew him and he will be greatly missed. As well as being a regular, he also acted like the welcome committee at the front of the pub to tourists.

Deputy harbourmaster Mike Higgs, who found the body, also knew Mr Walton. He said: “It was totally unexpected, I was very shocked, it wasn't very nice finding it, especially when it is a person you know.”

You can leave your own tributes to Mr Walton in the comment box below.