A third crew member was found clinging to a lifebuoy and he was recovered safely, according to the coast guard.
The search began Saturday morning at around 6 a.m. local time when the HM Coastguard received an EPIRB alert from the fishing vessel Joanna C, a 45-foot scalloping vessel, about three nautical miles off the coast at Seaford near Newhaven. Three people were reported on board.
HM Coastguard immediately sent the Coastguard rescue helicopter from Lydd, supported by the Coastguard rescue helicopter based at Lee On Solent and RNLI all weather lifeboats from both Newhaven and Eastbourne. Other fishing vessels in the area responded to the Coastguard radio broadcasts and assisted with the search.
“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 location of the EPIRB alert location but no life raft has been found as yet,” said Piers Stanbury, HM Coastguard Controller and the National Maritime Operations Centre, on Saturday.
The search was briefly suspended overnight Saturday, but it resumed Sunday morning before eventually being called off around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday after searchers returned no additional signs of the missing vessel or crew.
“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,” said Chris Thomas, Deputy Director of HM Coastguard. At one point, Coastguard coordinators described tracking 14 vessels covering the search plan area including the two RNLI all weather lifeboats at sea.”
The incident comes as the U.S. Coast Guard searches for four missing fishermen after their fishing vessel sank early Monday morning off the coast of Massachusetts.