A WOMAN has been arrested and bailed after a 51-year-old man drowned in the sea off St Osyth.

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the man's death.

Clacton RNLI’s D Class inshore lifeboat was called to the scene, west of Hutleys Beach, at 5.46am on Friday, to help recover a man and a woman from the sea.

The man, from Ipswich, later died at Colchester Hospital.

The 40-year-old woman, also from Ipswich, was arrested on suspicion of assisting a suicide and was released on bail pending further enquiries until June 26.

Officers will be compiling a file for the Essex Coroner regarding his death after a post mortem showed the preliminary cause of death was drowning.

A spokesman for the lifeboat crew said: “On arrival the ambulance service were already treating two casualties on the water’s edge.

“Two casualty care trained volunteer crew were put ashore and assisted the ambulance service with the treatment of the two casualties, who had been in the water for a fair amount of time.

“After around 45 minutes of treatment the casualties were transported from the beach to awaiting ambulances and were taken to hospital.

“The woman made a slight improvement on scene and continues to make a slow recovery in hospital, unfortunately the other casualty died despite the combined team effort from East of England Ambulance service, including their Hazardous Area Response team, Clacton RNLI lifeboat crew, Essex Police and Clacton Coastguard.

“Our thoughts go out to the casualties, their friends and family."

Police are appealing for information following the incident.

Officers are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Spring Road area between 1am and 6am on Friday to get in touch.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Clacton CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.