COMMUNITY leaders have said that their 'thoughts are with the family' of the man whose body was discovered by a dredger boat crew yesterday morning.

The body was found in the water near Workington Port shortly before 11:40am yesterday morning.

Police have said that formal identification of the body may take a number of weeks - but added that the body's identification is a 'priority' to the force.

A Cumbria Police spokesman said yesterday: "Police and partner agencies are currently in the area of Workington Port, following the discovery of a man's body in the water.

"The public may see a continued policing presence in the area whilst enquiries are conducted."

It is understood that the body was first discovered by a dredger boat crew, who alerted harbour staff to the deceased.

Speaking on Friday afternoon, Councillor Keith Little, chair of the Workington Harbour Management Board said: "On behalf of Cumbria County Council our thoughts go out to the family, whoever this person is."

"We have been able to work with the police and close the dock down and that will remain closed until the police allow us to open the dock up again.

"Thanks to our in-house staff for the work that they did in recovering the body from the water and thanks to our staff of the dredger who first noticed the body and alerted staff.

"This is a tragic situation of course, and we will await further information from police.

"For now the Port of Workington will is closed, that's what we will do, that's what we need to do and we will work within the guidance of the police."

Councillor Mike Heaslip also extended his sympathies to the family of the deceased.

He said: "Whoever it is our thoughts are with the family, it's always sad when a body is found in the river or the sea and as always our thoughts are with the family."

The port remained closed for the duration of the day, and was still closed as of 5pm on Friday evening.