A woman visiting a West Country seaside resort for the New Year holidays died yesterday after being swept out to sea in 12ft waves.
The unnamed victim was swimming or surfing at Croyde Bay in North Devon when she got into difficulty shortly after 11am. The Coastguard was called at around 11.24am after receiving reports that a woman had been swept out to sea.
A police spokesman said: "Despite search attempts by the Coastguard helicopter and lifeboat crews she could not be found until she was removed from the water at around 1pm.
"She was airlifted to North Devon District Hospital where attempts to revive her were sadly unsuccessful. The woman's next-of-kin have been made aware," he added.
"She is thought to have been visiting the region on holiday with family and appears to have been swimming or surfing when the tragedy occurred."
Waves of up to 12ft (3.5m) were reported on coastal forecasting website MagicSeaweed.com at the time of the incident.
Croyde itself regularly features among "top 10" compilations for family holiday destinations, while the clean waves make it a haven for surfers.