is coordinating a major air and sea search
operation following the capsize and sinking of a French fishing vessel today,
14 miles South by West of Lizard Point in Cornwall.
At 12.40pm this afternoon, Falmouth Coastguard received a distress alert
from the fishing vessel ERIDAN reporting that they had seen another fishing
vessel capsize and sink and subsequently Falmouth Coastguard received a
distress alert from an Emergency Positioning Beacon (EPIRB).
Falmouth Coastguard immediately tasked rescue units including Royal Navy Rescue
Helicopter and RAF Rescue
Helicopter, The Lizard and Penlee RNLI lifeboats
and the Coastguard Emergency Towing Vessel, the Anglian Princess to attend
the scene, while the ERIDAN proceeded to the location of the sunken vessel.
Other merchant vessels, naval vessels and two other fishing vessels are
proceeding to the scene.
One of the two life rafts from the sunken vessel has been located empty by
the Rescue Helicopter and two bodies have been recovered from the water and
are being transferred to shore by the helicopter. The search continues for
the three remaining crew.
Conditions on scene are winds are winds South Westerly severe gale force 9
with rough seas and moderate to poor visibility.