Detectives investigating the death of a man on Portland said he died because of a “tragic accident”.

An investigation was launched yesterday afternoon after coastguards pulled a man, aged in his 30s, from the water near Pulpit Rock at Portland Bill at 12.45pm.

He was found to be in a life-threatening condition and later died in hospital just after 1.30pm.

As investigation continue Dorset Police have confirmed that the death is not being treated as suspicious.  

Detective Sergeant James Mullen, of Weymouth CID, said: “Enquiries are ongoing into the incident but at this time we believe that the man died as a result of a tragic accident.

“We would like to thank members of the public who have already come forward to assist our appeal. I am still keen to hear from any witnesses who saw the man enter the water and have not yet spoken to police.”

His next of kin have been informed and the coroner has been notified.

Chief Inspector Guy Shimmons, of Dorset Police, said: “We are currently trying to establish how the man came to be in the water. I believe he may have been with two other men prior to the incident and they are currently being spoken to by officers.

“I would ask anyone who was in the Portland Bill area and either witnessed what happened or saw a group of men prior to the incident to please contact Dorset Police."

Portland Bill was busy with sightseers when emergency services were called the area.

One man witnessed the whole incident and said he saw the man being pulled from the sea.

He said: "It was horrible. My heart goes out to his family."

A 60-year-old woman, who did not wish to be named, said: "There was a lot of people gathering at the side of the cliff, they had spotted a man in the water.

"The coastguard did a good job, it was hard in the weather conditions.

"I hope the family are okay and my thoughts are with them."

No arrests have been made.

A spokesman for the Coastguard said they responded to 'multiple' 999 calls.

The spokesman added: "Portland Bill Coastguard Rescue Team, Weymouth RNLI inshore and all weather lifeboats and the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Lee on Solent.

"Weymouth RNLI lifeboats recovered the casualty who was transferred to the Coastguard helicopter for onward transfer to Dorchester Hospital." Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at, via email or by calling 101, quoting incident number 10:223.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via