A mother has drowned after being swept out to sea with her two sons.

The woman was said to have been in the water off the north coast of Cornwall on Monday afternoon when the trio, including boys aged 13 and 11, were caught by a rip current and taken out of their depth.

The woman, believed to be in her 50s, was airlifted to North Devon District Hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later.

A member of the public raised the alarm after one of the boys made it back to shore at Northcott Mouth, near Bude. The other was rescued by the RNLI's Bude inshore lifeboat.

Martin Bidmead, watch officer at Falmouth coastguard, said the mother was plucked from the water. Medics performed CPR before she was taken to hospital, he added.

Lifeguards, coastguards and crew members from RMB Chivenor were called to help with the rescue at around 2pm on Monday.

Mr Bidmead said he was unsure whether the woman and her sons were from the local area or were visiting Cornwall.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said the children were unharmed. Next of kin are being informed.