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Major search off Dungeness called off after two bodies found

The major search for a missing fishing boat has been called off after two bodies were recovered from the sea by rescue teams on Thursday.

The vessel with four crew members on board disappeared in the Channel off the coast of Dungeness on Wednesday.

Debris was spotted in the water yesterday afternoon, which was later confirmed to be wreckage from the boat.

The trawler went missing yesterday afternoon off the Kent coast

The trawler went missing yesterday afternoon off the Kent coast

RNLI crews have since confirmed two bodies have been found near the French coast.

A spokesman said: "Three RNLI lifeboats have been out participating in the search today and we are aware that two bodies have been recovered.

"The search has now been suspended as darkness has fallen. However, this is still an ongoing and sensitive operation."

Lifeboats from Dungeness and Dover along with a French helicopter have been scouring a large area for the trawler since it lost contact with coastguards.

The Dover and Dungeness lifeboats were scrambled to the site where the debris was spotted - on the French side of the Channel north west of Boulogne.

They were stood down at about 5.30pm.

An RAF helicopter, a plane from France and Dover and Dungeness lifeboat were also involved in the search.

The missing vessel, registered in Belgium, lost contact with coastguards on Wednesday afternoon, sparking a major search. It was en route to Ostend.

The trawler is believed to be several miles off Kent

The trawler is believed to be several miles off Kent

Ms Turner said crews had to decide whether to venture out yesterday in treacherous conditions to search the same area already covered.

Chris Ubee, Dungeness RNLI operations manager said yesterday: "It's filthy out there. The conditions are really unpleasant, but all we can do is keep searching."

The Coastguard said teams had been searching an area of the channel based on the boat's last known location, the weather conditions, tides, wind direction, the vessel's planned route and speed, and other variables.


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