Two bodies pulled from sea in Kent as Storm Dennis batters Britain

Two bodies have been pulled from rough seas in Kent as the UK is battered by Storm Dennis.

One man was found on Saturday after a huge search operation off Margate, Kent, after an early-morning distress call, and another was found at Herne Bay.

Lifeboats, a coastguard helicopter and a Royal Navy warship were all dispatched to search the sea near Margate Harbour after reports of a man overboard, HM Coastguard said.

HMS Westminster was also believed to have responded to a relay call, and is in the area, according to ship-tracking data.

A boat takes part in the search for a man overboard. Credit: PA

The urgent search operation comes as communities across the UK brace for the arrival of Storm Dennis on Sunday – just one week after Storm Ciara battered the nation.

A distress call was received by the coastguard at 5.41am and an extensive search of the area began.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

A coastguard spokesman said: "At around 1pm, after many hours of searching, a body was sadly found in the water by the RNLI Margate lifeboat and has been brought to shore."

The distress call is believed to have come from B Gas Margrethe, a 99-metre Maltese tanker that had been anchored off the coast of Margate.

Margate coastguard also carried out a search of the shoreline.

Police are trying to establish the man's identity so that next of kin can be informed, a spokesman said.

In a separate incident, Kent Police were called at 12.15pm on Saturday to a report a person had been pulled from the sea in Herne Bay.

Officers attended with fire and ambulance services and a man was declared dead at the scene.

Next of kin are aware and the death is not being treated as suspicious, police said