Authorities have denied reports a body found floating off the coast of Venezuela is that of missing fashion designer Vittorio Missoni.

The 58 year old, who co-owns his family's Missoni label with his brother and sister, was travelling on a small plane with his wife and four others on 4 January (13) when it vanished shortly after take-off from the resort of Los Roques.

Local officials immediately launched air and sea rescue search operations but they have so far proved fruitless.

Reports suggesting a corpse found in the waters off the port of La Guaira was that of Missoni's surfaced on Thursday (10Jan13), but investigators have dismissed the claims, identifying it as the remains of a long-missing fisherman in "advanced stages of decomposition".

The search for the plane wreckage continues. All six people on board the twin-engine plane are presumed dead.