Missing fishermen: Search off Sussex coast to resume at first light

Missing fishermen: Search off Sussex coast to resume at first light

The search for two men missing off the coast of Sussex since a fishing boat sank will resume at first light.

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

A man was found clinging to a buoy and was taken to hospital.

The search for the other two members of the scalloping vessel, which is registered in Brixham, Devon, was eventually suspended at 23:00.

The emergency signal put the 45ft-long trawler, the Joanna C, about three nautical miles off shore.

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

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