A woman has died after paddling in the sea on Christmas Day, police confirmed today.

The woman was paddling in the sea in Hastings and was swept out after being hit by a wave, Sussex Police said.

A police spokesman said: “At 10.40am yesterday an adult female was paddling in the sea at Hastings when it appears that she was hit by a wave and taken a short distance out to sea.

“The lady was recovered from the sea and given emergency CPR before being taken to a local hospital. Sadly she has died as a result of this incident.”

Yesterday, the traditional festive swim in Brighton, just over 30 miles away from Hastings and also on the south coast, was called off after the local council closed the beach due to bad weather.

Brighton and Hove City Council said conditions would be “extremely dangerous” for even experienced swimmers, with winds of up to 30mph, a high tide and a heavy sea swell forecast.

The council also said the water would be very cold at this time of year, with a temperature of around five degrees.

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