A light aircraft was reported to have crashed into the sea off the Needles at the Isle of Wight, before police called off the search saying it was a false alarm.
The coastguard had been searching for the plane but later put it down to confusion over a low-flying plane.
The Bournemouth Echo reported that the crash occurred at about midday roughly two miles out at sea, and had been witnessed by tourists sitting in a cafe nearby.
The aircraft was said to be a white twin-engine aircraft, and the Isle of Wight police are reportedly helping with the search.
The custodian of the Needles Old Battery cafe told the Echo: "Our cafe has panoramic views of the spot so they were just drinking cups of tea when they saw it occur," she added.
"They saw a fleeting glimpse and got their binoculars out."
No details of the crash or any injuries have been reported.