A Kent Police spokesman said a lifeboat crew recovered the decomposed body after it was spotted four miles off the coast of Whitstable, Kent.
The death is currently being treated as unexplained and inquiries are under way to establish the identity of the man, who was about 6ft tall.
The body was taken to the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.
A ship had been passing the sand flats off Whitstable when the body was spotted at 1.15pm on Thursday.
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