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

Lifeboats and the coastguard helicopter had been scouring the sea near Margate Harbour. Credit: PA

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.

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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