Tyne & Wear

North Sea fishing trawler captain died in sinking

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

A man who died when a trawler sank in the North Sea was the boat's captain, police have said.

The 45-year-old British man's body and two other crew, who survived, were pulled from the water after the Ocean Way trawler issued a distress signal.

The vessel, registered in Fraserburgh, was last heard from about 100 miles east of the Farne Islands on Sunday.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it has called off a search for two other sailors.

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

'Terrible tragedy'

The rescued men, aged 38 and 28, were taken to Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington in Northumberland suffering from hypothermia.

They have now been released.

The boat is believed to have sailed from North Shields in Tyne and Wear on Saturday.

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

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

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."

The two missing men are aged 32 and 38.

Northumbria Police confirmed the man who died was the vessel's captain.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is investigating.

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