On the afternoon of 07 November HM Coastguard received a call from a merchant vessel 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’s EPIRB.
The HM Coastguard Lydd search and rescue helicopter was immediately launched, as well as the Eastbourne and Newhaven RNLI all weather lifeboats to the scene.
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, who reported the incident, picked up two persons 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.
The rescued crew were taken to Dover coastguard station where they were assessed by the HM Coastguard Lydd helicopter crew paramedics. The crew do not require hospital treatment but an ambulance is making its way to the station as a precautionary measure to check them over.
Film of rescue