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Fisherman dies off Red Sands Tower in Thames Estuary

Whitstable lifeboat crew
Whitstable lifeboat crew

A fisherman has died and a second survived after a rescue in the Thames Estuary.

Thames Coastguard was contacted at 8pm last night after reports of a drifting vessel seven miles north of Herne Bay.

When they arrived, the potting boat Lisa K was found without crew in the area of the Kentish Flats wind farm.

A search of the nearby area found the body of a man in the water still wearing a buoyancy aid.

A second man - the skipper - was found alive this morning on one of the old forts called the Red Sands Towers in the middle of the Thames Estuary.

It's believed the vessel left Ramsgate yesterday morning at 9am.

It came after Whitstable, Sheerness and Margate RNLI lifeboats searched the sea as well as the rescue helicopter from RAF Wattisham.The skipper was not found during the night.

At first light the man was seen by a passing vessel waving from high up inside one of the Red Sands Towers some 10 miles off Southend. 

He was recovered and was due to be transferred to hospital by the rescue helicopter from RAF Wattisham and assessed for hypothermia.

The Lisa K is a potting boat which has been working out of Ramsgate for shell and crab fishing. 

The rescued skipper reported that they had been on one of the Red Sands Towers which is nearly six miles from where the vessel was found drifting.

His crew man had gone into the water after their fishing vessel began drifting away from the platform.

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