The body of man believed to be that of a 23-year-old sailor missing from a bulk iron ore carrier has been located in waters off Port Hedland.

A marine search and rescue operation was launched on Wednesday after the Indian citizen was reported missing when he failed to appear for afternoon muster at about 1pm on Wednesday.

A helicopter search was conducted by Port Hedland Police, with support from the WA Water Police and the Volunteer Marine Rescue Service Port Hedland.

A report will be prepared for the Coroner.