Two bodies found in the sea after abandoned dinghy discovered off Lancing - what we know so far
The bodies of two men have sadly been found in the sea after an abandoned dinghy in Lancing sparked a huge sea search.
The green dinghy was found floating unattended in the sea off Lancing at 1.40pm yesterday afternoon (August 10), according to Sussex Police.
It contained a hand trolley and some personal effects 'appearing to belong to someone living in Sussex', police said, confirming it was not thought to be connected with asylum seekers.
The Coastguard helicopter was deployed and lifeboats from RNLI stations in Shoreham and Brighton began a search along the coast in both directions.
An appeal was also put out to trace the owner of the dinghy, in case they had safely returned to shore.
Tragically, the body of a man was recovered by the RNLI Shoreham lifeboat in the sea just off Brighton at around 5pm yesterday evening, police said.
Although he has not been formally identified, he is believed to be linked to the dinghy found earlier.
During investigations to confirm the identity of the man, police said it became apparent his friend was also missing and the search continued into Monday evening, finally concluding for the day after around nine hours.
Rescuers were back out early this morning joined by a crew from Newhaven and, at around 8.45am, a second body was spotted by the crew of a Coastguard helicopter and picked up by the Shoreham lifeboat crew.
The body has also not been formally identified, but it is also believed to be that of the man missing from the dinghy.
His next-of-kin have been advised, police added.