Search for two missing fishermen resumes after boat sinks off East Sussex coast

An RNLI Lifeboat was part of the search for the two fishermen that went missing near Seaford, Sussex Credit: PA

The search for two fishermen, who went missing after a fishing boat sank off the coast of East Sussex, has resumed after it was called off late on Saturday night.

The boat, named the Joanna C, put out an emergency distress beacon on Saturday at around 6am with two RNLI lifeboats and a helicopter joining the search.

One man was pulled from the water after he was found clinging to a lifebuoy on Saturday morning and the search for the other two crew was called off at around 11pm.

The Joanna C is a 45ft scalloping vessel registered in Brixham and its last known location was three nautical miles off the coast of Seaford, near Newhaven.

A large search effort was carried out on Saturday, with lifeboats from Eastbourne and Newhaven RNLI, two Coastguard rescue helicopters, the Coastguard fixed wing aircraft and Birling Gap and Beachy Head Coastguard Rescue Teams all being deployed.

The search was assisted by 12 other vessels, including many fishing vessels, which responded to Coastguard broadcasts.

Chris Thomas, deputy director of HM Coastguard, said: “HM Coastguard’s National Maritime Operations Centre has coordinated a major rescue effort (on Saturday), with many units searching tirelessly since first light and finding one casualty who has been recovered safely to hospital.

“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.”