Published: 09:52, 07 January 2019
| Updated: 14:04, 07 January 2019
A search on the Kent coast has been stood down after an empty boat was found.
HM Coastguard were looking for the passengers of the rigid-hulled inflatable boat, which was found deserted on the coast of Dungeness on Romney Marsh just after 8am.
Reports suggest it could be a migrant boat, but the coastguard confirmed this afternoon the search has ended after they were satisfied that there were no maritime casualties. .
A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said this morning: "HM Coastguard is currently coordinating a search at Dungeness in Kent after an empty RHIB was found on the shore around 8.10am today (January 7).
"Dungeness Coastguard Rescue Team is leading the beach search and Kent Police has been informed.
"HM Coastguard is committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of this country.
"We are only concerned with preservation of life, rescuing those in trouble and bringing them safely back to shore, where they will be handed over to the relevant partner emergency services or authorities."
HMS Mersey is currently circling several miles from the shore between Folkestone and Dungeness, according to marinetraffic.com.
Police and the Home Office have been contacted for comment.
The Dungeness RNLI and SECAmb have confirmed they are not involved with the search.
More by this authorMolly Mileham-Chappell