The volunteer lifeboat crew at Selsey responded to a report of a missing seven-year-old child yesterday at West Wittering.
At the time they received the page, at 4.31pm, the child had been missing for two hours, the RNLI said.
Both lifeboats were requested to launch to join the Selsey coastguard team and coastguard helicopter to search the coastline.
Shortly after the all-weather lifeboat had launched the child was found, so the inshore lifeboat was stopped from being deployed.
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