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Major search for two fishermen missing after boat sinks off UK coast

Written by on 21 November 2020

A major search operation is under way to find two missing fishermen after their boat sank off the coast of East Sussex.

Three men were on board the fishing vessel Joanna C when it sank, with one man rescued after he was found clinging to a lifebuoy by rescuers.

HM Coastguard scrambled a search and rescue helicopter after receiving an alert signal at 6am on Saturday.

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Several boats are involved in the search operation near Seaford, Sussex

Two RNLI lifeboats are also trying to locate the missing boat.

The alert from the boat’s emergency beacon put the vessel three nautical miles off the coast of Seaford, near Newhaven.

In an update at 10.30am, HM Coastguard said a man had been rescued from the water by the Newhaven RNLI lifeboat and was taken to hospital.

The Joanna C is a 45ft scalloping vessel registered in Brixham, the Coastguard said.

More from East Sussex

A RNLI lifeboat searches for the two missing fishermen
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An alert signal was sent from the missing fishing vessel at 6am

As well as the RNLI lifeboats, the Birling Gap Coastguard Rescue Team is checking for sightings from the shore.

Another fishing vessel close to the area is helping with the search.

HM Coastguard controller Piers Stanbury said: “Thankfully one of the three people on board at the time of sinking has been pulled out of the water and brought to shore by the Newhaven RNLI lifeboat but the intensive air and sea search for the two missing crew continues.

“Debris has been located close to the location of the EPIRB alert location but no life raft has been found as yet.”