Tyne & Wear

Missing trawler: One dead as search continues off Farne Islands

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Media captionThree men were airlifted to hospital, the BBC's Anne Marie Tasker reports

A trawlerman plucked from the North Sea with two other crew members has died, as the search continues for the remaining missing sailors.

The Ocean Way, registered in Fraserburgh, was last heard from about 100 miles east of the Farne Islands.

Helicopters from the UK and Norway were involved in the hunt for the British skipper and his four Filipino crew.

The person who died was one of three winched from the water and airlifted to hospital. Two others remain missing.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) declined to confirm if the person who died was the skipper or one of the crew.

The rescued men were taken to Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington in Northumberland.

'Mayday message'

The MCA said an RAF helicopter initially winched two people to safety who were found in the water. Later, another member of the crew was recovered.

Efforts are continuing to find the remaining two.

The boat is believed to have sailed from North Shields in Tyne and Wear on Saturday. On Sunday it transmitted an emergency beacon, sparking the rescue mission.

Image copyright Davie Tait
Image caption The Ocean Way is registered in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire

A statement from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "The emergency beacon from the vessel began transmitting earlier today.

"Since then the coastguard have been trying to contact the skipper and have also been broadcasting mayday relay messages which have been requesting all shipping to look out for the missing crew."

An RAF rescue helicopter began the search and was joined by the Norwegian helicopter Rescue 1.

'Ultimate sacrifice'

Mike Puplett, the Humber Coastguard watch manager, said: "We will continue searching as long as necessary."

Scotland's Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead said: "This is a terrible tragedy and my thoughts are with the loved ones and friends of the crew.

"This tragedy will be felt by all fishing communities and is a horrible reminder of the dangers our fishermen face, day in day out, to bring fish to our tables with many paying the ultimate sacrifice.

"I would like to pay tribute to all the personnel involved in the rescue operation."

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