A report of a body washed up on the shore at St Monans turned out to be a false alarm.
Police were alerted when a shape which looked like someone lying in the water was spotted near the windmill on Tuesday morning.
The alarm was raised as the hunt for missing St Andrews University student Duncan Sim continued.
Officers involved in the missing person inquiry were informed and the Coastguard was drafted in but the object turned out to be a clump of seaweed.
There was a large presence of emergency personnel at scene, including police officers, coastal rescue teams from Leven and St Andrews and an RNLI crew from Anstruther Lifeboat.
A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “We received a call at around 11.30am.
“It was reported as a body at St Monans but it turned out to be a mass of seaweed.
“Nothing else was found.
“There was a lot of activity down there following the report, with the police and Coastguard in attendance.”
First year chemistry student Duncan, 19, has not been seen since he left Madras Rugby Club in St Andrews late on Wednesday, March 14.
On Monday police hunting for him issued an appeal for information about a man seen standing in the water at St Andrews around four hours after Duncan was last seen.
The man, described as around 6ft tall with dark hair, was spotted near Kinkell Braes at the East Sands at around 3am on Thursday, March 15.
Police said their inquiries to date did not support Duncan having gone to the East Sands but they wanted to pursue all possible lines of inquiry.