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The search for two fishermen missing at sea continues


The two-day search for two fishermen missing at sea was halted this afternoon after their Scallop Wars boat sank off the East Sussex coast.

The big search began at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning in Seaford, near Newhaven, after the missing couple disappeared when their fishing vessel Joanna C sank.

A man aboard the scallop ship was pulled out of the water off Newhaven, East Sussex, and taken to the hospital yesterday after being found by rescuers clinging to a life preserver.

The two-day search for two fishermen missing at sea was halted this afternoon after their Scallop Wars boat sank off the East Sussex coast. Pictured: RNLI Lifeboat travels to Newhaven Harbor after searching for missing fishermen near Seaford, Sussex on Saturday

The search for the two missing crew members was interrupted at 2:30 p.m. after restarting in the first light this morning.

A statement from HM Coastguard said: “HM Coastguard has confirmed that the search, which resumed Sunday morning at 7:30 am, will now be completed at 2:30 pm.

Units helping the search today include the RNLI lifeboats from Newhaven and Eastbourne, as well as the Eastbourne and Birling Gap Coast Guard rescue teams and local fishing vessels.

"Unfortunately nothing else was found today."

A surge of support scoured the seas for the missing couple, including two RNLI lifeboats from Newhaven, two Coast Guard rescue helicopters, the Coast Guard fixed-wing aircraft, and the Birling Gap and Beachy Head Coastguard rescue teams.

Another 12 ships, including local fishermen, responded to the Coast Guard's broadcasts and helped with the search at sea.

The alert was triggered when the Joanna C's distress signal began broadcasting at 6 a.m.

The alert was triggered when the Joanna C's distress signal began broadcasting at 6 a.m.

HM Coastguard Assistant Director Chris Thomas said, “HM Coastguard's National Maritime Operations Center coordinated major rescue operations today. Many units have searched tirelessly since the first light and found an accident that was safely taken to the hospital.

& # 39; Unfortunately, two other crew members have not yet been found and all our thoughts are with their families and friends.

He continued, “It is evidence to the local maritime community that the HM Coastguard has been doing so throughout the day from nearby ships and the local fishing communities who have joined us in trying to locate their peers while searching was admirably supported.

A man aboard the scallop ship was pulled out of the water off Newhaven, East Sussex, and taken to the hospital yesterday after being found by rescuers clinging to a life preserver. Pictured: Joanna C in Brixham Harbor, Devon

A man aboard the scallop ship was pulled out of the water off Newhaven, East Sussex, and taken to the hospital yesterday after being found by rescuers clinging to a life preserver. Pictured: Joanna C in Brixham Harbor, Devon

"At one point, the Coast Guard coordinators described the pursuit of 14 vessels covering the search plan area, including the two RNLI all-weather lifeboats at sea."

A GoFundMe page in support of the families of the two missing men has raised more than £ 2,000 to date.

The donations go to the Fisherman Mission, a charity that provides practical, emotional and financial support to fishermen and their families and distributes it to those affected.

Organizer Tony Rowe said on the side, "Our prayers are with those directly involved and the wider community, all of whom are affected in some way."

HM Coast Guard messed up a search and rescue helicopter after receiving a distress signal from the boat at 6 a.m. on Saturday.

The ship had previously been damaged by French fishermen during the "Scallop Wars".

The rescue helicopter in Lydd, Kent, was used along with two RNLI lifeboats in Newhaven and Eastbourne to find the missing boat.

Several fishing boats joined in the search for the Joanna C, which sank off the coast of Seaford, Sussex at 6am on Saturday

Several fishing boats joined in the search for the Joanna C, which sank off the coast of Seaford, Sussex at 6am on Saturday

A distress signal aboard the Joanna C pictured was broadcast this morning three miles from Seaford near Newhaven

A distress signal aboard the Joanna C pictured was broadcast this morning three miles from Seaford near Newhaven

The RNLI confirmed that a man was saved after being held on to a lifebuoy. He was taken to the hospital for treatment

The RNLI confirmed that a man was saved after being held on to a lifebuoy. He was taken to the hospital for treatment

Several different ships have joined the search for the two crew members, who have been missing since 6 a.m. on Saturday

Several different ships have joined the search for the two crew members, who have been missing since 6 a.m. on Saturday

RNLI volunteers are among those looking for the two men. The search has since been canceled for the evening

RNLI volunteers are among those looking for the two men. The search has since been canceled for the evening

The beacon signal brought the ship three nautical miles off the coast of Seaford, near Newhaven.

In an update on Saturday at 10.30 a.m., the Coast Guard announced that a man had been rescued from the water by the RNLI lifeboat in Newhaven and taken to the hospital.

The man who is believed to be the skipper was held on to a lifebuoy.

It was not disclosed who was on board the ship at the time of the sinking.

The ship belongs to Derek Meredith and is run by Nathan Clark.

The Joanna C is a 45-foot scallop ship registered at Brixham, the Coast Guard said, and three people were on board when it sank.

One crew member was held by a lifebuoy by the RNLI and taken to the hospital

One crew member was held by a lifebuoy by the RNLI and taken to the hospital

A major search was underway to find the two missing crew members of the lost ship

A major search was underway to find the two missing crew members of the lost ship

HM Coastguard units searched the shore in case the two missing crew members made it out of the sea

HM Coastguard units searched the shore in case the two missing crew members made it out of the sea

Local fishing vessels joined in the search for the missing crew members who were aboard the scallop fishing boat, which sank at 6 a.m. on Saturday. They have since stopped looking for the night

Local fishing vessels joined in the search for the missing crew members who were aboard the scallop fishing boat, which sank at 6 a.m. on Saturday. They have since stopped looking for the night

Several fishing vessels joined the RNLI in their search near Briling Gap in Sussex

Several fishing vessels joined the RNLI in their search near Briling Gap in Sussex

In addition to the RNLI lifeboats, the Birling Gap Coast Guard rescue team checked the sightings from the shore.

Another fishing vessel near the area helped locate it before it was canceled for the evening.

The Coast Guard rescue helicopter stationed in the Solent was also used to relieve the Kent-based aircraft.

Coast Guard inspector Piers Stanbury previously said: “Fortunately, one of the three people on board was pulled out of the water at the time of the sinking and brought ashore by the RNLI lifeboat in Newhaven, but the intense air and sea search for the two missing crew members continues.

"Debris was found near the EPIRB alert site, but no liferaft has been found yet."

Local MP Anthony Mangall said: "My thoughts are with the crew of the Joanna C. The Brixham fishing community is one big family and we all want them to return quickly and safely."

A local fisherman from Brixham, the home port of the Joanna C, described the ship's skipper as "very experienced".

He said he received a call from another fisherman this morning with the terrible news that the Joanna C was lost.

The rescue helicopter in Lydd, Kent, was used along with two RNLI lifeboats in Newhaven and Eastbourne to find the missing boat. Pictured: the rescue operation

The rescue helicopter in Lydd, Kent, was used along with two RNLI lifeboats in Newhaven and Eastbourne to find the missing boat. Pictured: the rescue operation

He said the entire Brixham community was shocked and prayed that the two remaining crew members would be safely recovered.

In 2013, the Joanna C fished a 500-pound bomb from the seabed off the coast of Beachy Head and called in an Army bombing squad to destroy ammunition dropped by a British plane.

The Joanna C underwent a major overhaul in 2019 after an engine failure.

According to Fishing News, the ship and a new engine have been modified so that it can stay at sea for up to a week.

As part of the nine-month overhaul, emergency hatches were installed in the living area.

The 45-foot vessel was designed to dredge scallops and has been involved in confrontations with French trawler men.

Last year the Joanna C, pictured by Nathan Clark [left] next to comrade Callum Clark [right], was surrounded by French trawlers off the Normandy coast. The ship suffered a broken window after French fishermen threw objects at it

Last year the Joanna C, pictured by Nathan Clark [left] next to comrade Callum Clark [right], was surrounded by French trawlers off the Normandy coast. The ship suffered a broken window after French fishermen threw objects at it

It comes after a terrifying warning from British skippers that hostilities are worsening and death is inevitable.

Fears were raised last month when two British boats collided again in the scallop conflict.

The battle for scallops in the English Channel escalated and French trawlers confronted British boats last month, firing torches and throwing frying pans.

French and British fishermen were embroiled in a skirmish in August when around 40 French boats tried to prevent British ships from fishing 12 nautical miles off Normandy.

British boats are allowed to fish in the scallop-rich area, but their presence rustled the French, who blame the British for draining the mussel stocks.

It is not yet known whether the "Scallop Wars" are about to end.

A major search and rescue operation was launched after the Joanna C distress signal started broadcasting at 6 a.m. on Saturday

A major search and rescue operation was launched after the Joanna C distress signal started broadcasting at 6 a.m. on Saturday

Last year the crew of the Joanna C were "extremely shaken" by an early morning attack in the English Channel.

Fisherman said they were trying to protect themselves from objects thrown at them – while the French Navy just stood and watched.

Last month, two British boats, the Girl Macey and the Golden Promise, were involved in the deep sea battle.

They were surrounded by around 20 French ships and objects such as frying pans and stones were thrown at them.

French crews even threw oil before firing a torch at a ship.

At the time, Derek Meredith, owner of the Golden Pledge, said, “When I heard about it, I was very concerned that if that torch had gone into the wheelhouse, would the boat have burned and would the French have helped?

“The boat would sink and the French would just drown our boys.

"They shouldn't be doing what they are doing, but they seem to get away with it every year."

Search and rescue teams were on land, at sea and in the air looking for the crew, who had been missing since 6 a.m. on Saturday

Search and rescue teams were on land, at sea and in the air looking for the crew, who had been missing since 6 a.m. on Saturday