Falmouth Coastguard Searches for Missing Crew

Thursday, January 15, 2004
Falmouth Coastguard is coordinating a major air and sea search and rescue 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.

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