A LITTLE girl has died after an incident at Durdle Door this morning.

Coastguard officials were called to reports of a child and a woman in distress in the water at 11.30am.

The woman was rescued from the water by a member of the public. A Ministry of Defence military range safety vessel, which was in the area and responded to a Mayday broadcast, recovered the girl from the water.

The five-year-old, who lives in Salisbury, was taken by the RNLI Weymouth Lifeboat to Weymouth and transferred by the ambulance service to Dorset County Hospital.

Despite the efforts of the emergency services, she was pronounced dead on her arrival.

Detective Inspector Steve May, of Dorset Police, said: “Our thoughts are with the family of the young girl involved at this very difficult time.

“At this time there is nothing to suggest this was anything other than a tragic accident however, with the sudden death of any child we have an obligation to carry out an investigation to establish the full circumstances of what happened.

“I am appealing to anyone who witnessed how the girl came to be in the water and has not already spoken to police to contact us immediately.

“There were also a number of visitors in the area at the time and I am appealing to anyone who may have filmed or photographed the incident to please get in touch as it may assist our investigation.”

A spokesperson from the Coastguard said officers received "multiple calls" reporting a woman and a child in the water.

A mayday call was broadcast and the MOD vessel was "almost immediately on scene".

"Lulworth and Wyke Coastguard Rescue teams, the Weymouth RNLI lifeboat, HM Coastguard Lee-on-Solent search and rescue helicopter, Dorset Police and the South Western Ambulance Service, along with their helicopter, were sent to the scene," the spokesperson said.

"The child was brought ashore and transferred into the care of the ambulance service."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting incident number 18:127.