A body has been found in the sea six miles off the coast of Portland.

Police received a call from the coastguard at 9.03am on Monday that a body had been found in the water south east of Portland Bill.

Coastguard and lifeboat crews were tasked with recovering the body. 

The lifeboat was launched from Swanage just before 10.30am after a small fishing boat reported seeing what appeared to be a person in the water six nautical miles east of Portland.

The UK Coastguard helicopter ‘Rescue 175’ was also tasked to the incident and confirmed the sighting.

The lifeboat was quickly at the scene and recovered the body from the water.

The casualty was then taken to Portland Port.

Crews were met at the port by an ambulance and an operations officer South Western Ambulance Service and a team from Portland Bill Coastguard.

A spokesman for Dorset Police said efforts were now underway to try and identify the person but the death was not being treated as suspicious.

The coroner has also been notified.

The Swanage lifeboat returned to sea to perform further searches of the area to check for any further casualties.

They were assisted by Weymouth inshore lifeboat and the UK coastguard fixed-wing aircraft.

No further casualties were found and all assets were stood down just before 2pm.

Mayor of Portland, Charlie Flack said he was deeply saddened to hear a body had been found near the isle. 

"Although the identity of the person is not yet known, my condolences go out to any family who will be affected by this tragedy," Cllr Flack said. "The community are always so appreciative of the work our rescue services do - whether that be coastguard, lifeboat or the helicopter crews - in trying to protect us. It is sad this did not have a positive end."

He added he hoped members of the emergency services received the necessary support after such a tragic incident.