Rescuers “could not get near” a woman who died after being swept into rough seas off New Brighton, according to witnesses.
The victim, in her 50s, died at the scene after a man and a woman were pulled from the water during a major rescue operation involving a coastguard helicopter.
It is believed the woman went into the water along the stretch of walkway between the Marine Lake and the sea at Kings Parade.
A man in his 20s was rescued from the sea and rushed to hospital, where he remains in a stable condition, following the operation involving the RNLI, Coastguard, Merseyside Police and North West Ambulance service.
A dog was also removed from the water and is “safe and well” according to the emergency services.
A witness told the ECHO: “We saw a few people looking over the side and then we could see people in the water.
“It was really rough. The paramedics and the coastguard could not get near.”
The walkway where the tragedy happened is lined by a bank of rocks on the sea wall side, and witnesses described the water as rough and choppy.
The promenade area was condoned off by police as rescue teams worked to remove both people and the dog from the water in what was described as a ‘major incident’.
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A spokesman for Merseyside Police said: “Emergency services were called at 12.30pm and police and coastguard attended.
“Both people and a dog were removed from the water. Sadly, a woman in her 50s was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
“Her next of kin have been informed. Formal identification has not yet taken place.
“A man in his 20s was taken to hospital where he is in a stable condition. The dog is safe and well.
“At this stage there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the woman’s death.”
Detective Inspector Tara Denn said: “Enquiries are ongoing establish the full circumstances of what led to this tragic incident.
“We know there were a number of people in the area at the time who would have witnessed all or part of this incident. While we have spoken to some witnesses, we are keen to speak to others who can help us piece together what happened.
“If you were in the area at the time, please contact us – every bit of information, however small it may seem, could prove crucial.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’. You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 341 of 6 July.