One crew member dies after fishing boat capsizes off Kent coast – The Guardian

One crew member has died after a fishing vessel carrying three people capsized in the middle of the Channel, with one person still missing a day later.

A Belgian-registered boat got into trouble off the Kent coast on Tuesday night, and two of the crew were rescued by a coastguard helicopter based at Lydd.

One of those rescued was taken from the water but later died in hospital; the other had been winched to safety from the stricken boat.

The search for the third crew member was called off at about 4.30pm beause of the failing light. The lifeboats have returned to their stations, and it remains unclear whether the search will continue on Thursday.

The incident came to light earlier in the day, when the first person rescued was found clinging to the hull of the overturned boat by a passing vessel at about 7.45am – nine hours after the boat capsized off the Kent coast at about 11pm. The man was airlifted and taken to the William Harvey hospital at Ashford.

Coastguards carried out a search for the crew members, and a spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the search area extended from Ramsgate to the mid-Channel area.

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On Wednesday afternoon, the exposed hull of the vessel could be seen in the water with most of it submerged. Rescuers found the overturned wreckage empty, leading to fears that the men had been swept away by the tide on a night where sea temperatures dropped to as low as 5C.

The coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Lydd, lifeboats from Ramsgate and Harwich and the coastguard rescue team from Margate were scrambled to join the search for the Belgian-registered boat. It is not known whether the crew were British nationals.

John Ray, a spokesman for Ramsgate lifeboat station, said the incident must have happened suddenly, because the crew members made no contact with the coastguard.

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