A body has been found after an extensive search operation off the coast ofKent. Lifeboats and the coastguard helicopter had been scouring the sea near Margate Harbour after reports of a man overboard.

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

The search operation came as communities across the UK braced themselves for the arrival of Storm Dennis just one week after Storm Ciara battered the nation.

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

Storm Dennis on the way Credit: PA

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.

Coastguard spokesperson

The distress call is believed to have come from a Maltese tanker that had been anchored off the coast of Margate.