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Fishermen lucky to be alive after sea drama

The Dutch yacht that picked up the stricken fisherman.
The Dutch yacht that picked up the stricken fisherman. Credit: RNLI

Two fishermen are said to be lucky to be alive tonight after they spent nine hours adrift on a lifeboat after their own boat sank 12 miles off the coast of Sunderland.

The men, who haven't been identified, were picked up by a passing Dutch yacht on its way to Whitby and taken to Hartlepool Marina.

Joshua Shrimpton Dean reports.

Dramatic sea rescue off Sunderland coast

“The fishing vessel’s liferaft was a life saver today and this incident highlights how important it is to ensure that liferafts are properly maintained and able to float free of the boat should the worst happen. Fishermen should wear personal flotation devices at all times whilst on deck. Even if the liferaft floats free, getting into one is no mean feat, especially if the weather is more volatile than today’s relatively calm seas.

Although the liferaft had been drifting for nine hours, we are still hopeful that we will be able to find the wreckage of the boat using our search and rescue information system (SARIS) which is a computer programme that allows us to plot the drift of vessels. The MCA’s counter pollution branch and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch have been informed.

– Mike Puplett, Humber Coastguard

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Fishermen's 9-hour raft ordeal

Two fishermen have been rescued after spending nine hours aboard a life raft when their boat sank off the coast of Sunderland.

The pair had been fishing in the North Sea 12 miles east of Sunderland when their boat appeared to hit a submerged object, sinking so quickly they did not have time to make a distress call.

The pair were picked up by a Dutch yacht on Monday, Humber Coastguard said.

The crew contacted the coastguard which arranged for a lifeboat from Hartlepool to pick up the fishermen and bring them to shore.

"Both of the fishermen are now safe and well, although a little shaken by their ordeal. We'd like to thank the Dutch yacht Jager which rescued the men and went out of their way to ensure their safety."

– Mike Puplett, Humber Coastguard

Pictures released of car missing man was last seen in

Police searching for missing Robert Hutchinson have released new images of his car.

It's four weeks since Robert, 57, was last seen leaving his home in Corporation Road in Hendon, Sunderland. He was in his car.

The blue coloured Nissan Micra was later recovered at the end of Stewart Street, just off Chester Road.

The blue coloured Nissan Micra was later recovered at the end of Stewart Street
The blue coloured Nissan Micra was later recovered at the end of Stewart Street

"Someone must recognise this car - did you see it being driven around the area at any time after 6.20pm on Monday, June 23? Did you see it being left at Stewart Street, which is just off busy Chester Road?

"Even the smallest detail can be vital in piecing together Robert's movements and I'd urge anyone who thinks they have information which may help us in our enquiries - no matter how insignificant they feel it may be - to contact us.

"Calls can be taken in the strictest of confidence. This is an incredibly difficult time for the family and the most important thing is finding out what has happened to Robert for the sake of his family and friends.

"I believe there are people within the community who will have information that will assist the enquiry and I would urge those people to come forward."

– Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Musgrove
Robert Hutchinson was last seen in his car
Robert Hutchinson was last seen in his car

Last week, two men were questioned on suspicion of murder and have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Family of Robert Hutchinson make emotional appeal for information

Four weeks since a grandfather from Sunderland disappeared, his daughter Paula Hutchinson and son Gavin Newton speak out and appeal for anyone with any information to come forward.

Last week, police arrested three men in connection with Robert Hutchinson's disappearance - two on suspicion of murder.

They've all been released on bail.

'Someone must have information' about missing grandfather

Robert Hutchinson
Robert Hutchinson

Police are appealing for information four weeks after Robert Hutchinson was last seen.

The 57-year-old went missing from his home in Corporation Road in Hendon, Sunderland.

He left in his car - a blue Nissan Micra - which was later recovered at the end of Stewart Street, just off Chester Road.

Last week, two men were questioned on suspicion of murder and have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

"Robert was a dedicated family man and a doting grandfather, he visited his grandson most days as well as spending time visiting other friends and family.

"This is an exceptionally difficult time for his family who are desperate to know what has happened to him. It is crucial people who have information now come forward.

"Someone must have information, and I would ask those people to think about how they would feel if this was their family member - a grandson is missing his grandfather, a son and daughter are missing their father.

"I believe there are people within the community who will have information that will assist the enquiry and I would urge those people to come forward.

"We don't know what happened to Robert or where he is now. How did his vehicle come to be in Stewart Street?

"We know Robert left his home on Monday, June 23, at 6.20pm in his car, the car was later found parked at the end of Stewart Street, just off Chester Road. If anyone saw him, either leaving his home or in Stewart Street or saw the car or the car being parked in Stewart Street, we want to hear from them."

– Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Musgrove

Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101.

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Renewed appeal on missing grandfather's birthday

Police continue to appeal for witnesses after disappearance of Sunderland grandfather Robert Hutchinson, on his 57th birthday.

Robert Hutchinson was last seen on June 23, in Hendon and was reported missing on June 26.

Yesterday, three men were arrested in connection with his disappearance.

Robert Hutchinson
Robert Hutchinson

"Today is Robert's 57th birthday, and our thoughts are with his family at what is an exceptionally difficult time for them. They need answers as to what has happened.

"Our enquiries to find Robert are on-going, we are searching a number of areas and carrying out a number of enquiries. We believe there will be members of the community who have information and we need those people to come forward and speak to us. I would like to reiterate that we will treat information in the strictest of confidence."

"We would ask those who know what has happened to think how they would feel if this was one of their family members. No matter how small the information is it could prove to be fundamental in our enquiries."

– Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Musgrove, of Northumbria Police Major Crime Team

Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101.

A 59-year-old man has been released with no further action.

Missing man investigation is now a murder inquiry: police appeal for help

Robert hutchinson
Robert Hutchinson has been missing since 23rd June

The grandfather-of-one has not been seen since June 23 in Hendon.

This morning, a 55-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and two men, aged 59 and 39, were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Enquiries have been carried out to trace him, including viewing CCTV, carrying out house to house enquiries and speaking to people who knew him.

Chief Inspector Jerry Pearson, of Sunderland Area Command, said: "This is a fast moving investigation that has recently seen a number of significant developments that have led to three men being arrested this morning.

"Robert's family have been updated on this development and are understandably incredibly distraught by this. It is crucial we now find out the full circumstances of what has happened and we are continuing to ask for witnesses to come forward.

"If anyone has any information they think may help, no matter how small it may be, we want them to contact us. We will treat any information in the strictest of confidence and respect the anonymity of callers if this is a concern."

Anyone with information should contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 410 260614 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Renewed appeal for missing man from Sunderland

Northumbria Police have made a new appeal for a man from Sunderland, who is missing.

Robert Hutchinson, 56, was last seen on Monday, 23rd June, in the Hendon area of the city. He was seen on CCTV at a petrol station where he was seen putting fuel into a blue Nissan Micra.

Robert Hutchinson, 56, has been missing since 23rd June

Family appeal for missing man to get in touch

Robert Hutchinson. Credit: Northumbria Police

The daughter of Robert Hutchinson, who has been missing from Sunderland for two weeks, has appealed for him to come home. Robert Hutchinson, 56, was last seen on June 23 in Hendon.

He was last seen driving a blue Nissan Micra registration number LT03 0ZJ.

CCTV from the filling station at Asda, in Grangetown, June 23. Credit: Northumbria Police
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