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HM Coastguard helps rescue fishermen from capsized boat in the English Channel

By Sean Axtell

Four fishermen were rescued today in near gale force conditions after their boat capsized in the English Channel.

HM Coastguard scrambled units to the south west lane following a sighting of two people sitting on the boat's hull and another two in the water, shortly before 4pm.

Kaimes Beasley, HM Coastguard controller said all men were rescued safe and well.

Stock: Lydd search and rescue
Stock: Lydd search and rescue

"This was a very successful outcome to what could have been a tragic one.

"There was a huge effort to rescue these four men in near gale force conditions in the English Channel," he said.

"Thankfully, all four fishermen have been picked up and despite being cold and wet are otherwise safe and well."

Following the emergency call from those on-board a merchant ship, a mayday call alerted all nearby boats to assist with the rescue.

Many vessels responded to the broadcast and made their way to the scene, a coastguard spokesman said.

Sailors on the merchant vessel who reported the incident picked up two people from the water, while the HM Coastguard helicopter rescued two fisherman stranded on the hull.

Coastguard also received a distress alert from the fishing vessel’s emergency radio beacon, known as an EPIRB, as it scrambled the Lydd rescue helicopter and Eastbourne and Newhaven RNLI lifeboats.

The incident prompted the organisation to release a series of safety tips on its website.

A spokesman continued: "HM Coastguard is also happy to receive radio checks from vessels if they wish to check their equipment before heading out to sea.

"You should always have a plan on board for ‘what if?’ and make sure everybody on board knows their part within the plan.

"In this case, a passing merchant vessel alerted HM Coastguard and we received an EPIRB distress alert which means we were able to respond quickly and get these four casualties safely rescued."

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