Coastguard crews are searching for the third crew member of a fishing boat which capsized and sank in heavy seas.

Falmouth Coastguard launched a search for the vessel – named Sabre – after the wife of the skipper raised the alarm that it was overdue.

At 7.45am today (Saturday 13th) , the coastguard received a report that the liferaft had been spotted by a merchant vessel and two crew were picked up by the coastguard helicopter and taken to Treliske hospital inTruro.

The crew told the coastguard that the Sabre had capsized and sunk at 7pm Friday 12th March after getting into difficulties in heavy seas, according to a coastguard spokesman.

The search involves the Penlee and Lizard RNLI lifeboats, the Coastguard Tug Anglian Princess, the fishing vessel Ocean Spray, the tug Neftigas 57 and the rescue helicopter from Culdrose.

A coastguard spokeswoman said: “It is not good that the third crew member was not on the liferaft but we will continue the search and the location of the liferaft has helped us redefine the search area.”

The coastguard teams at present face gale force eight winds and visibility of three miles.

The Sabre fishing boat, which is a 30ft wooden boat based at Newlyn, Cornwall, had sailed yesterday to the fishing grounds 13 miles south of the Lizard, Cornwall, to retrieve nets that had been laid on Friday. It had been due to return last night.

Total Sea Fishing