THE body of a man has been recovered from the sea after a boat crew spotted him floating in the water.

Coastguard teams recovered the body near the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm yesterday morning.

Crew members of a boat sailing by spotted the body being carried along by the waves and immediately sent an alert message to the coastguard.

The RNLI Shoreham lifeboat was launched to retrieve the body at 9am. The lifeboat returned to the shore at Brighton Marina once it was recovered.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “HM Coastguard were alerted on Friday morning when the crew of a boat in the area spotted the man floating in the water.

“The man has not yet been identified, but is not believed to be one of the two men still missing after their small boat was struck and sunk by a larger vessel off Shoreham around 12.30am on Sunday, August 6.”

The spokesman was referring to an incident on Sunday when one man was found dead and another rescued after a small fishing boat was hit by a large scallop dredging boat off the coast of Shoreham on Sunday. The search for two missing Romanian men from that boat has since been suspended and their family members have raised concerns about their welfare, hoping they are still alive.

Friends of the family of one of the missing men, Mitch Ilie, told The Argus that his wife Lacramioara Ilie is holding out hope he has miraculously survived days in freezing water.

Mitch Ilie, who is missing, and three of his friends were forced to abandon their fishing boat off the coast when it was hit by a scallop dredging boat, now identified as Vertrouwen, which left Shoreham around the time of the incident bound for Grimsby.

The father-of-four and his brother-in-law Irinez Popovici are still missing.

A coastguard spokesman said: “There is currently no search being carried out at sea for the missing men involved in Sunday’s incident.”