RCMP say a 69-year-old woman from Washington D.C. died after being caught in the surf 225 metres off the north shore of P.E.I. Friday.

The woman went swimming at Lakeside Beach behind the Crowbush Resort. 

At approximately 10:50 a.m., Kings District RCMP were dispatched to the beach area in response to a report that a woman had entered the water there and had not been seen returning to shore.

She disappeared in the strong surf, according to Cpl. Bob Holland.

The Joint Rescue Centre dispatched a helicopter from Halifax, after consultation with Emergency Measures Organization and the RCMP, to assist in locating the woman.

The Canadian Coast Guard was also alerted and directed vessels to that area.

The woman was pulled from the waters off Crowbush by a Search and Rescue helicopter at 12:40 p.m.


A cormorant helicopter hovers near Crowbush. (Submitted by Ronnie Hennessey)

RCMP say strong winds and heavy surf conditions hampered recovery efforts.

Police say medical staff on the helicopter tried to revive the woman while en route to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

She was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Parks Canada was warning people Friday not to go in the water off P.E.I. National Park because conditions were dangerous with the possibility of rip currents.