EMERGENCY crews rushed to a stretch of beach between Barton and Milford after the body of a woman in her 70s was found in the water.
The alarm was raised shortly before 2.30pm yesterday (Wednesday) following the discovery of the body at Taddiford Gap, off the B3058 Milford Road.
Witnesses said her body was pulled from the sea as a coastguard helicopter flew overhead.
Along with the Lee-on-Solent-based helicopter, the incident was attended by a Lymington coastguard rescue team, RNLI crews from Lymington and Mudeford, paramedics and police.
The woman’s identity has not yet been released, but a Hampshire police spokesperson said her next of kin had been informed and are being supported by specialist.
Her death is not being treated as suspicious, and the matter is being handed over to the Coroner.
The force spokesperson said: “We were called just before 2.30pm after a body of a woman in her 70s was found in the water near Barton-on-Sea Golf Club.
“Her next of kin have been informed, and are being supported by specialist officers.
“The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.”
People took to a local Facebook group to share their shock and sadness.
One person wrote: “RIP so sad. And prayers with the lifeboat crews and police who have had to deal with this awful situation.”
Yesterday, a spokesperson for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: “HM Coastguard received a 999 call at 2.26pm today (August 12th) from a member of the public about an incident in the Barton-on-Sea area.
“A coastguard rescue team has been sent from Lymington, with two RNLI lifeboats from Lymington and Mudeford and a coastguard search-and-rescue helicopter from Lee-on-Solent.
“Hampshire police and South Central Ambulance Service are also at the scene.”