THE body of a man has been found off the coast of Brighton.

The body was recovered after a major search was launched this afternoon when an empty dinghy was discovered drifting off Lancing.

The inflatable vessel, which contained a shopping trolley as well as a mobile phone and items of clothing, was found at 1.30pm.

The Argus:

The Coastguard helicopter was launched and scanned the water from above while team members on land patrolled the coastline on quadbikes and scanned the sea with binoculars.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokeswoman confirmed that RNLI lifeboats from Shoreham and Brighton had been deployed to search the area while the chopper had been called from Lee-on-the-Solent.

The Argus:

This evening, Sussex Police confirmed that members of RNLI Shoreham had recovered the body of a man off Brighton beach.

Police were called to assist lifeboat and coastguard crews at 5.11pm.

READ MORE>>>Sea search launches after empty dinghy found

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "The body has been identified by next of kin, and police officers are supporting family members.

"This is linked to an earlier call in relation to an unoccupied dinghy floating off Lancing at 1.30pm."