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Man pulled from sea but two others still missing as fishing boat sinks

Two crew members are still missing after their fishing boat sank off the coast of East Sussex this morning. 

The coastguard has pulled a man from the water but a large search is ongoing for his two crew-mates. 

Their boat, the Joanna C, sent out a distress beacon at around 6am this morning. 

A search and rescue helicopter sent from Kent has been seen circling overhead while two RNLI lifeboats from Newhaven and Eastbourne attempted to find the missing boat.

The beacon’s signal put the vessel three nautical miles off the coast of Seaford, near Newhaven.

In an update at 10.30am, HM Coastguard said one man had been rescued from the water by the Newhaven RNLI lifeboat and has been transferred to hospital. He was found clinging to a lifebuoy.

The Joanna C is a 45ft scalloping vessel registered in Brixham, the Coastguard said, and three people were aboard when it sank. The search continues for the two missing crewmen.

As well as the RNLI lifeboats, the Birling Gap Coastguard Rescue Team is checking for sightings from the shore.

Another fishing vessel close to the area is helping with the search, while the Coastguard rescue helicopter based in the Solent has been deployed to relieve the Kent-based aircraft.

Piers Stanbury, HM Coastguard Controller, said: ‘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.’

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