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Missing fisherman confirmed dead after Plymouth boat capsized

The Solstice PH199 capsized off the Devon Coast. Photo:

A fisherman has drowned after his trawler overturned off the coast of Plymouth.

The search for Tony Jones was suspended earlier today.

Mr Jones' son Nick Jones and crewmember Chris Wonnacott were found clinging to the upturned hull of the boat, which had been fishing near the Eddystone Lighthouse.

Chris Wonnacott (left) and Nick Jones were found clinging to the upturned hull of the boat. Credit: Facebook

At around 8.40pm yesterday the Coastguard received a 999 call reporting that a fishing vessel with three people on board was overdue in Plymouth, after fishing near Eddystone Lighthouse.

The Coastguard helicopter from Newquay located the Solstice PH199 around 4 miles south of Plymouth at approximately 1am, with two men on the upturned hull.

The men were rescued by the Plymouth RNLI lifeboat and transferred into the care of the South Western Ambulance Service.

An intensive search, which involved two Royal Navy warships, a Border Force vessel and RNLI lifeboats along with Coastguard helicopters, was launched for third man.

This afternoon the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) confirmed the incident had resulted in the loss of one life.

The RNLI says the rescue was extremely challenging.

Conditions were reasonable the biggest challenge the crews faced when they were out on sea was actually how dark it was out there. The cox of the Plymouth lifeboat reported to me the light was very difficult to work with and that's one of the things that makes it such a fantastic result that we did manage to locate the vessel and two of the crew members and get them back to shore safely.

– Simon Crayfourd, Life Saving Manager, RNLI

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has now confirmed that a body has been recovered and the Solstice has sunk.

A body of a deceased man has been located during daylight searches; he has since been brought to shore and next of kin have been made aware of these developments.

– A Maritime and Coastguard Agency Statement