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  1. ITV Report

Body found after large sea search off the Margate coast

A body has been found after an extensive search operation off the coast of Kent. 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.

Royal Navy joins rescue operation Credit: PA

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.