A body discovered underneath a boat in Barrow-in-Furness is thought to be that of a woman in her 60s from the Preston area.
Police said the body was found by a passer-by in a boatyard in Roa Island at around 3pm on Saturday.
Officers said efforts were continuing to find the woman’s next of kin and to formally identify her.
Her death is not thought to be suspicious at this time.
Inspector Phil Davidson, of Cumbria Police, said: “A lady believed to be in her 60s was found deceased underneath a boat in the boatyard.
“She had some paperwork with her that indicated she may be from the Lancashire area and our enquiries so far lead us to believe she may be from the Preston area.
“It looks like she has died from natural causes. It may be a very tragic case.
“We are trying to establish how she came to be under the boat and in the Barrow area.”