Emergency services were called to Sandhaven Beach at around 3.30pm on Saturday August 24, where a woman was pulled from the water by RNLI lifeguards.
The Coastguard has confirmed it had a team at the scene to help RNLI lifeguards and the North East Ambulance Service.
The Great North Air Ambulance was also called to the incident along with Northumbria Police.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “At about 3.30pm on Saturday police received a report that a woman had been found unconscious in the water at the beach in South Shields.
“Emergency services attended and the woman was taken to hospital but sadly she was pronounced dead a short time later. At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but officers do not believe there to be any third party involvement.
“The woman’s next of kin have been informed and inquiries to establish the circumstances into the woman’s death are ongoing.”
A Humber Coastguard spokesman said: “We were called by South Shields RNLI lifeguards to Sandhaven Beach in South Shields, at 3.30pm on Saturday, August 24.
“Lifeguards pulled a woman out of the water and we assisted lifeguards and the North East Ambulance Service, but she was deceased.”
A South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade (SSVLB) spokesman said its team had been called to support “a multi-agency response to a serious incident”.
One woman, who did not want to be named, praised passersby who went to help.