South Tyneside Coroner Terence Carney has opened an inquest into the death of Stephen Haren, of Yewtrees, Gateshead.
A post mortem examination has been carried out on the 52-year-old and Mr Carney is waiting for the results.
An inquest will be held to determine how he came by his death.
Emergency services, including the Coastguard, were called to the cliffs near Souter Lighthouse, in Coast Road, Whitburn, at 11.03pm on Tuesday, after receiving a call from a man which led them to have concern for his welfare.
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They attended the scene in an attempt to find him, but a found a body during their search.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Police got a call from a man at Souter Lighthouse in Whitburn. The call led us to have concern for his welfare so officers attended the area to try to find him.
"During the search the body of a man was found. Firefighters attended and helped officer to remove the body and a report is now being prepared for the coroner."