A MAN died after being found unconscious in the sea off Poole at the weekend.

The man, aged in his 40s from Middlesex, was airlifted to hospital by the air ambulance from the beach at Branksome on Saturday evening.

Dorset Police said they were called to the scene at 7.14pm.

A spokesperson said: “Officers attended to assist the ambulance service and closed the beach to enable the paramedics to deal with the incident and for an air ambulance to convey the man to hospital.”

The spokesperson said the man was later pronounced dead at hospital.

They added that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and the man’s family had been informed.

The Marine and Coastguard Agency said the man had been reported missing after an inflatable he had been using off Branksome beach was found unoccupied.

A spokesperson said the man was recovered from the sea a short time later before being airlifted to Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

A number of other emergency services attended the incident including Poole RNLI, the Coastguard Rescue Teams from Poole and Southbourne and South Central Ambulance Service.

Poole Lifeboat said it was requested to launch by the UK Coastguard at 7pm to attend the multi-agency incident.

Cliff Drive in Canford Cliffs was closed by police officers during the response.

The tragedy happened while many people were still on the beach after a day that saw temperatures reach 25C.

Although the cause of death has not been released, the incident is the latest in a spate of tragedies that have occurred on the Dorset coast.

Last year, seven people lost their lives by drowning, compared with four the previous year. Twenty-seven people have drowned in Dorset over the past five years.

The figures were released last month by the Royal Life Saving Society UK who also revealed that one in eight people in the South West have nearly drowned in the water.

In August 2016, father-of-two Jayarajah Katheeswaran died at Sandbanks. The 37-year-old from Hertfordshire was visiting with members of the Islamic and Cultural Society of Harrow.