Four fishermen have been safely rescued after their fishing vessel capsized in gale force conditions in the English Channel this afternoon (Wednesday, November 7).
Two were found clinging to the hull, while the other two were in the water in treacherous sea conditions.
HM Coastguard said it received a call from a merchant vessel just before 4pm reporting that they could see a capsized fishing vessel with two people sitting on the hull and two people in the water in the south west lane of the English Channel.
HM Coastguard also received a distress alert transmitted from the fishing vessel.
The HM Coastguard Lydd search and rescue helicopter was immediately launched, as well as the Eastbourne and Newhaven RNLI All Weather Lifeboats.
A Mayday relay broadcast was also issued by HM Coastguard asking all vessels in the area to assist if they were nearby. Many vessels responded to the broadcast and also made their way to the scene.
The merchant vessel, which reported the incident, picked up two people from the water and the two people on the hull were picked up by the HM Coastguard helicopter.
Kaimes Beasley, duty controller for HM Coastguard, said, “This was a very successful outcome to what could have been a tragic one.
“There was a huge effort to rescue these four men in near gale force conditions in the English Channel.
“Thankfully, all four fishermen have been picked up and despite being cold and wet are otherwise safe and well.”
READ our original story here Major incident in sea off Eastbourne