UK: Searchers for missing trawler Z85 Morgenster in English Channel find bodies – Published 290115 1900z (GMT/UTC)

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Friday, 30 January 2015
UPDATE ON SEARCH FOR OVERDUE FISHING VESSEL
The Search and Rescue operation looking for the missing fishing vessel which had been fishing in the Dover Strait is being co-ordinated by the French coast guard as it is now in their territorial waters.

Dover Coastguard was initially alerted to the missing vessel on the afternoon of 28th January.

The search is now concentrated on an area four miles from the French coast. Any further involvement of the UK authorities will be at the request of the French coast guard.

Thursday, 29 January 2015
UPDATE ON SEARCH FOR OVERDUE FISHING VESSEL
The search continues this morning for a missing fishing vessel which had been fishing in the Dover Strait.
Dover Coastguard was alerted to the disappearance yesterday afternoon. Four crew were known to be onboard.
An RAF helicopter is searching the area along with a French maritime aircraft. Two all-weather lifeboats from Dungeness and Dover are on the scene.
A number of Belgian and Dutch fishing vessels remain on the scene in the area, looking out for any sign of their missing colleagues.
The weather conditions on scene remain challenging.

End

LifeboatsDungeness and Dover RNLI lifeboats search for missing Belgian fishing trawler

The volunteer lifeboat crews of two Kent RNLI lifeboat stations launched yesterday evening (Wednesday 28 January) to help search for a Belgian fishing trawler in the English Channel.

Dungeness all-weather lifeboat launched at 5.08pm after being tasked by Solent Coastguard to search for the 40m vessel which lost all communication earlier the same day at 1.30pm.

The Belgian-registered trawler, carrying a crew of four people, was situated 10 miles south of Dungeness when all contact was lost.

Hours after the Dungeness RNLI crew launched, Dover Coastguard requested the launch of Dover RNLI lifeboat to assist in the search. The crew launched their all-weather lifeboat just after 7pm.

Also involved in the search were coastguard helicopters Rescue 104 and Rescue 125. It is also understood several other fishing trawlers were assisting with the search.

Chris Ubee, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Dungeness RNLI, said the weather and sea conditions for his crew of five volunteers were challenging at first, but later subsided. He said: ‘In the afternoon there was some strong gusting winds and the sea was very lumpy. That did later calm slightly and by 10pm the crew were searching beneath clear skies, with a moderate breeze and moderate to rough seas.’

However, for the Dover lifeboat crew conditions were set to worsen through the night, with a warning of severe gales expected after 11pmon Wednesday. Billy Hollis, Deputy Launching Authority for Dover RNLI said: ‘Our crew of eight volunteers were tasked to search an area known as Varn Bank, south of Dover.

‘Throughout the evening we were operating approximately eight miles away from where Dungeness lifeboat were searching, which gives an idea of the sizeable search area

’Throughout the evening we were operating approximately eight miles away from where Dungeness lifeboat were searching, which gives an idea of the sizeable search area.’

At midnight, both Dungeness and DOver RNLI lifeboats were still searching for any sign of the missing trawler. The RNLI’s all-weather lifeboats are equipped to search up to 100 nautical miles out to sea. At the speeds they were travelling, it was estimated the lifeboats could search for several days without needing to refuel.

  • Update 7am, Thursday 29 January. Hastings RNLI lifeboat crew were asked to join he search at 12.15am today (Thursday). Dungeness RNLI lifeboat crew were stood down at 12.50am. And at 4.45am, both Dover and Hastings RNLI lifeboats returned to their stations when the search was suspended, possibly to recommence at first light

Press Report

BBC   29 January 2015 Last updated at 17:04

Missing trawler rescue teams find bodies in English Channel

The vessel believed to be missing off Dungeness

The vessel went missing in rough seas and strong winds

Rescuers searching for a Belgian trawler missing in the English Channel with four people on board have recovered two bodies from the sea.

The search for the fishing boat began on Wednesday afternoon when it vanished in rough seas and gale force winds.

The RNLI said the bodies, which were found in the sea off Boulogne, had been recovered back to the French port.

A life jacket and wooden debris were spotted by a French fixed wing aircraft north-west of Boulogne earlier.

Those on board the Z85 Morgenster are believed to be Dutch, Portuguese and Belgian.

A coastguard helicopter, two Kent lifeboats and a French search and rescue helicopter carried out the first search for the trawler, which had been fishing in the Dover Strait.

A number of Belgian and Dutch fishing vessels have also been in the area looking for any signs of the missing vessel.

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