A MAN has been found dead on a West Dorset beach.

An investigation has been launched after the discovery was made in the Seatown area.

Police said the body of a 59-year-old man, who is local to the area, was found after an empty boat was reported washed up on the beach this morning.

Concerns for the occupant prompted an extensive search of the area and led to a man’s body being found nearby.

It is understood the search operation went on for several hours.

The death is not being treated as suspicious, Dorset Police said.

Seatown is a hamlet on the Jurassic Coast less than a mile from the village of Chideock.

The beach lies beneath the beauty spot of Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast.

There are a few properties at Seatown, some of which are holiday homes, plus a holiday park.

Local residents said they saw or heard emergency services vehicles in the area yesterday, including a coastguard unit with sirens on rushing down Sea Hill Lane.

George ‘Nobby’ Clark, who has a holiday home in the area, said he saw two police vehicles at Seatown.

He added that he had seen coastguards in the area before involved in incidents on the coast.

Mr Clark said: “There are things you will see like helicopters flying around particularly with the rough seas.

“Someone’s always in trouble.”

Chief Inspector Dean O’Connor of Dorset Police said: “At approximately 9am on Monday an unoccupied small boat was located on the beach in the Seatown area.

“Police and coastguard units conducted a search of the nearby coast which located a 59-year-old local man who was deceased.

“The next of kin have been updated. There are no suspicious circumstances relating to the death.

“Dorset Police are conducting inquiries on behalf of HM Coroner.”