A BODY has been found in the sea near Old Harry Rocks.

Police, coastguards and RNLI crews were alerted just after 9am yesterday.

The body was recovered an hour later and the coroner has been informed.

A spokesman for Swanage Coastguard said: "A body was located and recovered. Dorset Police are investigating the circumstances for HM Coroner. Our thoughts are for the family and friends."

A spokesman for Swanage lifeboat added: "Swanage’s D Class inshore lifeboat (ILB) was requested to launch following reports of a person in the water close to Old Harry Rocks.

"The ILB launched and headed to the scene along with Swanage and St Albans Coastguard, the coastguard rescue helicopter and Dorset Police. The casualty was recovered to the shore to be assessed whilst the ILB returned out to sea to collect the winchman paramedic from the helicopter.

"Sadly the paramedic declared the casualty as deceased so the casualty was taken aboard the ILB, taken back to the lifeboat station and handed over to officers from Dorset Police. Our thoughts are with the casualty’s family and friends."