(Picture credit: Daniel Moon)

A man has died and two more remain missing, after their fishing boat sank off the coast of Shoreham yesterday morning (Sunday, 6).

The four men, two of which were from Brighton and two from London, had left Shoreham Harbour at just before midnight on what was believed to be a fishing trip.

Sussex Police said four men, all Romanian nationals, were in a five-metre boat which is believed to have been struck by a larger vessel in the English Channel shortly before 2am.

A 45-year-old man from London was found clinging to a buoy around two miles west of Shoreham Harbour just before 6am by a fishing vessel.

He was picked up by an RNLI lifeboat which landed at Shoreham, before being taken to hospital.

His discovery sparked a major search and rescue operation to find the remaining crew, which was subsequently suspended yesterday afternoon.

At around 8.15am police confirmed a body was recovered from the sea and brought to shore by a coastguard helicopter.


Andy Jenkins, controller with the UK Coastguard said:

“Following an extensive search of the area using multiple assets nothing further has been found at this time so the decision has been made to suspend the search pending further information.

“A review of the incident details will be ongoing through the rest of the day.”

Rescue teams searched beaches between Worthing and Brighton, with support from police.

UK Coastguard said the operation involved rescue teams from Shoreham and Littlehampton, two search and rescue helicopters from Lee-on-Solent and Lydd, RNLI lifeboats from the Shoreham and Brighton stations and other local vessels.

Rachel Carr, detective chief inspector for Sussex Police, said:

“Sussex Police are undertaking a joint investigation with the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch.

“We are now trying to establish the circumstances and to identify the other vessel involved.

“An earlier appeal for information prompted a significant number of calls and I would like to thank people for their prompt responses, which enabled us to quickly identify who had been involved.

“Our thoughts are with the families and friends of all those who have been involved in this tragic incident.”