Sussex

Shoreham boat sinking: Last two victims' bodies found

Mircea Ilie (left) and Irinel Popovici Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Mircea Ilie (left) and Irinel Popovici were part of a crew of four fisherman whose boat sank off Shoreham

The bodies of two fisherman whose boat sank off Shoreham more than a week ago have been recovered, police have confirmed.

Mircea Ilie, 40, and Irinel Popovici, 41, both from Brighton, were part of a crew of four.

The sole survivor, a 45-year-old man from London, was found clinging to a buoy at 05:50 BST on 6 August, five hours after the vessel went down.

Romanian Traiam Dumitrache, 50, was pronounced dead later that morning.

Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Traiam Dumitrache was pronounced dead on 6 August

Mr Ilie, of Elm Grove, and Popovici, of Barcombe Road, were found two and a half miles off Shoreham Harbour at about 07:00 BST on Monday.

A fisherman alerted HM Coastguard to one body in the water. The RNLI Shoreham lifeboat was launched, and as they were returning to shore a second body was spotted in the water just before 08:00.

The boat is thought to have collided with the scallop dredger Vertrouwen, which was bound for Grimsby.

"Police are now in touch with the owners, MacDuff Shellfish Ltd, who are co-operating fully with the investigation," a police spokesman said.

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Lifeboat crews and coastguard carried out searches along the West Sussex coast

The small boat with the four pleasure fishermen on board left Shoreham Harbour at around midnight.

It collided with the larger boat at about 00:30 and sank before a distress call could be made.

A commercial fisherman came across the only survivor, while Mr Dumitrache's body was recovered by a coastguard helicopter.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is examining what happened.

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