Search for missing fishmen suspended

353A6585 A9C0 4DD3 BC2B 89FF47D73BA9

HM Coastguard has been coordinating a major search since 6am on Saturday for three crew members from the fishing vessel JOANNA C which sank off Newhaven

One person was recovered conscious from the sea on Saturday morning by the Newhaven RNLI lifeboat and was transferred to helicopter but two crew members are missing.

A large number of rescue units have been involved in the search today, including Eastbourne and Newhaven RNLI lifeboats, two Coastguard rescue helicopters, the Coastguard fixed wing aircraft and Birling Gap and Beachy Head Coastguard Rescue Teams. Also helping with this search were 12 other vessels including many fishing vessels in the area which responded to the Coastguard broadcasts and have been helping with the search at sea.

Sadly the two crew members are still missing and the search is suspended at 11pm tonight, with a search at first light planned.

Chris Thomas, Deputy Director of HM Coastguard said,

“HM Coastguard’s National Maritime Operations Centre has coordinated a major rescue effort today, 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.”