A WOMAN’S body has been recovered from the sea off Chesil Beach.

The body was retrieved by a lifeboat crew from the water on Wednesday evening after being spotted by a fisherman.

A spokesman for Portland Coastguard said they were called out at around 6.15pm to an area off Chesil Beach close to Fleet village He said: “We received a report from a local fisherman of a body in the water up by Chesil Beach.

“It was reported to us as a body in the water so we sent the rescue helicopter to confirm that.

“Sometimes we get bodies reported and they are other things but in this case it was obvious that it was a body.

“Lyme Regis lifeboat was sent to recover the body and it was landed late that night.”

He added: “It’s an unfortunate incident but it’s not that unusual.

“We don’t know where this person has come from, which is what the police are investigating.

“Usually we have boats that have sunk or missing people that match the description but there’s nothing that we are aware of in this incident.

“Our main concern initially is if that person came off a boat because then there might be other people in the water but there was nothing to suggest that in this case.

“Unfortunately we have no idea at this stage what happened.”

Dorset Police are investigating the circumstances of the incident.

The woman has yet to be identified.

A Dorset Police spokes-man said: “This is still an ongoing situation.

“The coastguard alerted us at 6.30pm that a female body had been found in the water.

“Officers attended the scene and we can confirm that the body was recovered.

“We are investigating the circumstances of how the woman came to be in the water and are trying to identify her.”

West Dorset District Councillor Jean Dunseith said: “It’s always tragic when someone loses their life and it’s always unexpected.

“Your heart goes out to anyone in that situation.

“It’s a terrible tragedy and a terrible shock to anyone and I’m very sorry to hear it.

“My heart really does go out to the family and friends of the lady who died.”