BBC News

Missing fishermen: Search off Sussex coast ends

image copyrightMartin Johns/Fishing News
image captionThe Joanna C, registered in Brixham in Devon, sank three miles off the coast at Seaford

A search for two missing fishermen whose boat sank off the Sussex coast has been called off.

A major rescue effort began at 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.

Despite an extensive search for two other crew members, the coastguard confirmed it had terminated efforts to find them at 15:00 GMT.

The emergency signal put the 45ft scalloping vessel, which was 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.

Eastbourne and Newhaven's RNLI lifeboats, two coastguard rescue helicopters and a fixed wing aircraft, and Birling Gap and Beachy Head Coastguard Rescue Teams were all involved, as were 12 other vessels which responded to appeals for help.

image copyrightEddie Mitchell
image captionThroughout Saturday a number of vessels took part in the search

Chris Thomas, deputy director of HM Coastguard said its National Maritime Operations Centre co-ordinated 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 was 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."

On Saturday, HM Coastguard controller Piers Stanbury said debris had been located close to where the alert had originated.

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

Related Topics

  • Brixham
  • Newhaven
  • RNLI

More on this story

  • Sussex: One rescued and two missing as fishing boat sinks