Residents have told of their shock after a woman’s body was found on the beach at Lee-on-the-Solent.
Police are now trying to piece together the final steps of the woman, who was found dead on the shore at about 10.40am yesterday.
Several police cars and vans were at the scene within minutes and officers cordoned off a large area of the beach and gardens, near Lee-on-the-Solent sailing club.
It is believed the body was discovered on the pebbles near the water.
A white tent was then put up on the promenade, next to the sailing club, as forensic officers in protective suits began looking at evidence.
By about midday yesterday, officers had confirmed that the death was not being treated as suspicious.
It is not thought any foul play was involved.
Officers stood guard next to the cordon and directed walkers away from the scene.
The body was carried into a black van and taken away for a post-mortem to be carried out to determine how the woman died.
The woman has not yet been named by police as officers contact her next-of-kin.
Officers packed up the tent and removed the cordon at about 1.40pm yesterday.
A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We can confirm police are investigating the discovery of a woman’s body on the beach at Lee-on-the-Solent.
‘Officers were called at 10.39am.
‘The discovery is not being treated as suspicious.
‘Enquiries are under way to confirm the woman’s identity and contact any next-of-kin.’
Members of the public were shocked as they took a Sunday stroll.
Margaret May, 66, from Gosport, said: ‘I’m shocked. We came down to have a meal at The Old Ship pub and we saw the police cars there.
‘We thought maybe someone had fallen out of a boat or something.
‘We hoped it was not going to be bad. You don’t expect this round here.’
Margaret Atkinson, who lives nearby in Lee-on-the-Solent, said: ‘Something was covered on the beach by the edge of the water, covered by a high-vis jacket.
‘Shortly afterwards, the forensics team arrived to take photos.
‘Six police offices gently carried something on to the promenade and erected a tent.
‘They did wheel a girl’s/ladies bicycle into a police van.’
No-one was available for comment from the sailing club.
A dog walker who was stopped by the police said: ‘It’s a tragedy for her and her family.
‘It’s a busy waterway.
‘It’s always shocking when a body is found.’
Another resident said: ‘It’s a very sleepy little place.
‘This is an unusual thing.’
Officers will now prepare a file for the coroner on how the woman died.