A lifeboat responded to a report of a swimmer in trouble off Worthing.
The Shoreham inshore lifeboat was launched after a man was seen in the sea off Brooklands Pleasure Park in East Worthing yesterday.
The man had gone into the water to recover what was believed to be a canoe and his wife, concerned for his safety, called the coastguard.
The lifeboat reached the scene in just 15 minutes and found that the canoe was in fact a sailing racing marker snagged on a groyne.
By the time the lifeboat arrived the man had already made his way back to shore.
The lifeboat stood down and returned to station.