A LOCAL family is in mourning after the discovery of a man’s body at the foot of cliffs at West Bay.

The middle-aged man is believed to have plunged more than 100 feet on to rocks on the east beach.

A woman walking her dog yesterday morning made the shocking discovery and immediately raised the alarm.

An investigation is now being carried out into the last hours of the man, who comes from Bridport.

An inquest is expected to be opened within the next few days.

Bridport police section commander Insp Mike Darby said: “This man’s next of kin have been informed of his death, “ he said.

“This is a very sad situation and our thoughts are with his friends and family.”

The beach below the iconic East Cliff was cordoned off while police officers worked at the scene. Police cars, an ambulance and forensic team vehicles were seen in the car park.

Speaking at the scene, Detective Sergeant Steve Broadhurst of Weymouth CID said: “While we are keeping an open mind all the signs are that this is not suspicious.”

Mayor of Bridport Maggie Ray said: “This is very sad news.

“I can only say what everyone else has been saying and that it is an awful thing to happen.

“I feel for the family and send them our condolences.”

She added: “We now need to find out exactly what has happened here.”

Many dog walkers and residents were shocked to find the East Beach car park full of police vehicles and an ambulance.

Many said it reminded them of some of the scenes filmed for the popular television drama Broadchurch last year.

West Bay and East Cliff were the setting for the ITV series, which was written by Chris Chibnall of Bridport.

The programme focused on events surrounding the mysterious death of a boy whose body was found on a beach for which East Beach was the setting.

One onlooker, who did not wish to be named, said: “At first I thought they had started filming the second series of Broadchurch. Then I realised it was real.”

A Dorset Police spokesman said: “Dorset Police were called at 7.45am on Sunday to a report of a possible body on the beach at West Bay. A middle-aged man was located below the cliffs.

“His injuries were consistent with having fallen from a height.”