Missing fishermen: Search off Sussex coast resumes

Missing fishermen: Search off Sussex coast resumes

A large-scale search for two missing fishermen has resumed after their boat sank off the Sussex coast.

A major rescue effort began off Seaford, near Newhaven, on Saturday when the coastguard received an emergency alert at about 06:00 GMT.

One crew member was found clinging to a buoy and taken to hospital.

Two crew members from the boat, the Joanna C, remain missing. The search for them was suspended at 23:00 and resumed at first light this morning.

The emergency signal put the 45ft scalloping vessel, registered in Brixham, about three nautical miles off the coast.

Throughout Saturday a number of vessels, including local fishing boats, took part in the search.

RNLI lifeboats from Eastbourne and Newhaven, two coastguard rescue helicopters, the coastguard fixed wing aircraft and Birling Gap and Beachy Head Coastguard Rescue Teams were all involved.

They were assisted by 12 other vessels in the area which responded appeals for help.

Chris Thomas, deputy director of HM Coastguard said its National Maritime Operations Centre coordinated Saturday’s rescue effort “with many units searching tirelessly since first light”.

He continued: “Sadly two other crewmen have not yet been found and all our thoughts are with their families and friends.

“It is testament to the local maritime community that HM Coastguard were so admirably supported throughout the day by nearby vessels and the local fishing communities who joined us in force and made strenuous efforts to locate their colleagues during the search.

“At one point, coastguard coordinators described tracking 14 vessels covering the search plan area including the two RNLI all weather lifeboats at sea.”

On Saturday, HM Coastguard controller Piers Stanbury said: “Debris has been located close to location of the EPIRB alert location but no life raft has been found as yet.”

Helen Lovell, from the Fishermen’s Mission in Brixham, said the “community are really pulling together” and “lighting candles and putting them in their windows” to show they were thinking of the missing men.

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