A search off Cape Leveque sparked by an EPIRB alert has ended after it emerged the beacon was activated when an empty dinghy sunk.
The signal was picked just before 4am one nautical mile off Cape Leveque, 2240km north of Perth.
The Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra notified WA water police who coordinated a search.
A water police spokesman said the dinghy sank in rough conditions.
The owners were ashore at the time.