Four fisherman have been rescued after their fishing vessel capsized in the English Channel approximately 14 nautical miles south of Eastbourne, England on Thursday.
The HM Coastguard successfully winched two of the fisherman from the overturned hull of the fishing vessel, while a nearby ship rescued two others from the water.
The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency reported receiving a call just before 4 p.m. local time from a merchant vessel reporting that they could see a capsized fishing vessel with two people sitting on the hull and two others in the water. HM Coastguard also received a distress alert transmitted from the fishing vessel’s EPIRB.
An HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lydd was immediately launched, as well as the Eastbourne and Newhaven RNLI All Weather Lifeboats.
A Mayday relay broadcast was also issued by HM Coastguard asking all vessels in the area to assist if they were nearby. Many vessels responded to the broadcast and also made their way to the scene.
The ship that reported the incident was able to pick up the two people from the water, while the SAR helicopter successfully rescued the two people from the hull in a dramatic rescue captured on video.
The rescued fisherman have been taken to Dover Coastguard Station where they met with paramedics, but they have not been hospitalized.
“This was a very successful outcome to what could have been a tragic one,” said Kaimes Beasley, Duty Controller for HM Coastguard. “There was a huge effort to rescue these four men in near gale force conditions in the English Channel. Thankfully, all four fishermen have been picked up and despite being cold and wet are otherwise safe and well.”
As a result of the incident, the Coastguard is recommending to anyone venturing out to sea to ensure your vessel is equipped with an EPIRB, among other safety equipment.