The Coastguard praised fellow fishing boats and vessels for their ‘admirable support’ in the search operation (Picture: PA)
Huge search continues for missing crew after fishing boat sinks
Monday, November 23, 2020, 09:00 (GMT + 9)
A desperate search for two missing fishermen has entered its second day after their boat sank off the East Sussex coast.
The coastguard pulled one man from the water after the vessel, Joanna C, sent out an emergency distress beacon at around 6am yesterday.
He was found clinging to a lifebuoy and was rushed to hospital. Rescue teams trawled the water until 11pm last night before calling off the search. They resumed their mission at first light this morning.
The Joanna C is a 45ft scalloping boat registered in Brixham, Devon. Three people were aboard the vessel when it sank, the Coastguard said.
The Joanna C at the Brixham Harbour, Devon, pictured in 2018 (Picture: SWNS)
It is not yet known what caused the boat to sink but crew members have previously reported clashing with other boats over the precious seafood.
HM Coastguard deputy director, Chris Thomas, thanked nearby vessels and members of the local fishing community for providing ‘admirable support’. Mr Thomas 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.
Crews rose at first light this morning to resume the search for the two missing crew aboard the Joanna C fishing boat (Picture: Rex/PA)
‘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.’
As many as 14 vessels combed the waters where the boat was last seen on Saturday, including the two RNLI all weather lifeboats at sea, while two helicopters were scrambled for the initial phase of the search.
Debris from the boat was found at the same time as the first crew member.