A TWO-HOUR search for a person in the water was the result of a hoax call, police have confirmed. 

A Coastguard helicopter, rescue teams, and Sussex Police scoured Brighton's seafront last night after a report of someone being in the water near West Pier.

The search began at 8.20pm and emergency services were not stood down until about 10.10pm after a “thorough search”.

The Argus:

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "We can confirm this was not a genuine emergency call. 

"The informant was spoken to and given stern words of advice."

Pictures from the scene show emergency services parking on the promenade.

Witnesses reported the helicopter was using lights to illuminate the water.

A spokeswoman for HM Coastguard said: “We received a call from a member of the public saying they had seen a person enter the water in Brighton.

“Shoreham and Newhaven Coastguard Rescue Teams, RNLI Brighton lifeboat, HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Solent and Sussex Police attended the scene.

“A thorough search of the area was carried out but nothing was found and the search was stood down ‪about 10.10pm‬.”