A swimmer has died after getting caught up in thrashing waves on Tuesday morning.

Services swam out to a woman who was spotted still in the water off Bangor's coast near Belfast, Northern Ireland.

She was found unconscious and CPR was performed on her in the water as members of the public ran to a nearby car to bring a medical kit to the scene.

Belfast Coastguard received a 999 call about the swimmer, shortly after 10.45am.

She was carried unconscious to shore near Pickie Pool but tragically it was was not enough.

The woman worked as an artist and was well-known outdoor swimmer, reports BelfastLive.

Despite regularly swimming in the area, the woman got into difficulties as high waves hit the Man 'O' War gilet, a deep inlet with steep, rocky banks on the popular coastal path.

A source within the emergency services teams said: "Everyone did absolutely everything they could to save the woman.

"The public did a really fantastic job running to get medical kit from a nearby car and bringing it down.

"The Coastguard, Lifeboat crew, ambulance, doctors and police worked really hard to try and get the best outcome, but today it just wasn’t to be. It has hit us all very hard."

Alliance councillor for Bangor West, Connie Egan, said: "I am shocked and saddened to hear of this death earlier today around the Pickie area of Bangor. My thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the woman who has tragically lost her life."

DUP councillor for Bangor West, Jennifer Gilmour, said: "My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of this lady who has sadly passed away today.

"Sea swimming has had a resurgence of popularity in recent times and my thoughts also go out to the sea swimming community.

"A sea swim has today ended in tragedy. Whilst it would appear that this lady had taken sensible precautions such as wearing a wet suit this tragic incident reminds us all of the power and impact which the sea can have."

Alex Smith, the Maritime Operations Controller for the Northern Ireland Coastguard, said: "Tragically these incidents tend to start with a fun activity and the best of intentions.

"Today the conditions sadly were not good for sea swimming for even the strongest swimmer and it has resulted in tragedy.

"We got a call at 10.46am and immediately the RNLI lifeboat at Bangor and Coastguard were immediately launched, and we alerted the Coastguard and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. The PSNI also attended. One female had got into difficulties near Pickie Pool at Bangor, Co Down.

"Wild swimming has become a favoured activity for health and well-being recently but we must urge people to take great care and especially take note of the weather conditions.

"It may appear looking out to sea that the weather seems OK but today while it looks calm it is in fact a Force 5 to 6 and an onshore wind which means swimmers will be facing strong waves and wind which is very tiring.

"Even wearing a wet suit in this type of weather does not protect you from the elements."