© Owen HumphreysRNLI lifeboats from Ramsgate and Margate have been sent to help with the search (Owen Humphreys/PA)
A Royal Navy warship has been dispatched to help in an urgent search for a man in the sea off the Kent coast.
Lifeboats and the coastguard helicopter are scouring the sea near Margate Harbour after reports of a man overboard, HM Coastguard said.
Sixty-gun frigate HMS Winchester is believed to have responded to a relay call and is in the area, according to ship tracking data. © Provided by PA Media(PA Graphics)
The urgent search operation comes as communities across the UK brace for the arrival of Storm Dennis on Sunday - just one week after Storm Ciara battered the nation.
A distress call was received by the coastguard at 5.41am this morning and an extensive search of the area commenced.
A coastguard spokesman said: "RNLI lifeboats from Ramsgate and Margate have been sent, along with the search and rescue helicopter from Lydd.
"A police RHIB is also on scene. HM Coastguard broadcast a relay to vessels in the area, and a Royal Navy vessel is assisting."
Margate coastguard has also carried out a search of the shoreline.
The distress call is believed to have come from B Gas Margrethe, a 99-metre Maltese tanker that had been anchored off the coast of Margate.
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