Memorial to remember two fishermen lost at sea is created at Sussex harbour

Report by ITV Meridian's Charlotte Wilkins

A memorial to remember two fishermen who died off the coast of Newhaven a year ago is taking shape.

The families of Robert Morley and Adam Harper have raised more than £20,000 to fund the sculpture which will be the first memorial of its kind in the town.

Names of other fishermen who have lost their lives at sea will also be engraved upon it.

The permanent memorial is made of copper

38-year-old Robert Morley drowned when his boat sank on the 21 November 2020.

The 45ft scalloping boat, named the Joanna C, put out an emergency distress beacon at around 6am that morning with two RNLI lifeboats and a helicopter joining the search.

The captain of the boat, Dave Bickerstaff, was pulled from the water after he was found clinging to a lifebuoy. 

The 45ft scalloping boat was named the Joanna C.

Adam Harper, 26, from Brixham, was one of the two fishermen reported missing when the boat sank. His body was found within the wreck.

Robert Morley's his body washed up on the shore of Bexhill on 14 December 2020.

Mr Morley's mother, Jackie Woolford, is among those who've been working to build a permanent memorial in Newhaven for them both, as well as others who lost their lives at sea.

Jackie and Barry Woolford, Robert's parents

The copper memorial is being created by local Sculptor Christian Funnell and will be the first of its kind in Newhaven.

He said, "I wanted to use copper because it's not going to be painted, it's going to have a natural weathered material, and it's based on an energetic ball of mackerel with a few whitebait swimming about.

"So it will be hovering above the ground, and the ground will have a brass anchor in it with an inscription about the people who died."