Police and coastguards have been at the scene on a beach in Eastbourne since the alarm was raised at 6am and officers are trying to identify her.
She is in her late 60s or early 70s.
A Sussex Police spokesperson said, “At 5.53am police were called to the beach between Holywell and the Wish Tower on Eastbourne seafront where a passer-by had seen a woman’s body at the water’s edge.
“It was found at a point roughly opposite the junction of Bolsover Road with the B2105 King Edward’s Parade, about an hour before high water.
“Police were joined by HM Coastguard and the area was cordoned off while the body - that of a woman believed to be in her late 60s or early 70s and dressed in a navy blue anorak and trousers - was recovered.
“Enquiries are now being made to identify the woman. The coroner has been informed.”
The woman is believed to have been in the water but only for a short time.
A member of the public out walking along the seafront saw the woman’s body and raised the alarm.
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