A woman has died after she was found in a canal near Watford.

Emergency services responded to concerns for the welfare of a woman in the Grand Union Canal/River Gade near the A41 at lunchtime yesterday (May 11).

Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue said firefighters specially trained in water rescue pulled the casualty from the water, but police have confirmed she was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Her death is being treated as unexplained at this time, police said. Her next of kin have been informed and a cordon remains in place by the canal.

Watford Observer: Emergency vehicles parked up near the sceneEmergency vehicles parked up near the scene

Officers are appealing for witnesses who may have seen the woman by the canal, near the World of Water aquatic centre in the Hunton Bridge area, between 11am and 12.35pm on Wednesday May 11.

The victim was described as white, aged in her 50s, 5ft 5in tall, of medium build, with shoulder length brown hair.

She was wearing a red T-shirt, a dark-coloured - possibly black - hoody, dark jeans and black trainers with a white sole.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police by visiting www.herts.police.uk/report or calling 101 quoting ISR 282 of 11 May.

Watford Observer: Emergency vehicles on the A41 with a police helicopter overheadEmergency vehicles on the A41 with a police helicopter overhead

The incident prompted a huge emergency response with at least eight police vehicles, three fire engines, a water rescue team, ambulances, an incident response unit, and a police helicopter called to the scene.

Watford Observer:

Many of the emergency vehicles were parked up by the World of Water and the Quartermaster Military Store, as well as opposite the Shell petrol station.

There were at least two police vehicles parked in Bridge Road in Hunton Bridge and officers were seen searching along the canal path. 

Watford Observer: Police van in Bridge RoadPolice van in Bridge Road

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