Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Belgian flagged beam trawler Z85 Morgenster missing in the Channel off Hastings

The Morgenster has been a regular visitor in Newlyn over the years - when most of the Dutch crewed beam trawlers fish up in the channel for Dover soles...

or when they shelter for weather...

when they traditionally hang their trawls by the cod end clear of the decks...

or in this case when she changed both beam trawls.

The first news (yesterday at 14.45pm) from the MCA was that the Belgian owned but Dutch run fishing vessel Z85 Morgenster (MorningStar) was missing in the channel. Gale force winds and poor visibility made conditions for the search difficult.

"This afternoon Dover Coastguard was alerted to a missing fishing vessel which had been fishing in the Dover Strait. The vessel is known to have four crew on board. A Coastguard Rescue helicopter is searching an area in the South East of the Channel, two all-weather lifeboats from Dungeness and Dover are on scene and a French Search and Rescue helicopter has also been supporting the search effort."

"According to the Dutch Coast Guard, there are four people on board. The captain and crew have Dutch nationality, the other two crew members were a Belgian and a Portuguese."

At 6am this morning a number of Dutch and Belgian fishing vessels were still in the area searching...

the last recorded track using AIS shows the vessel deviating from her course...

though using another AIS source system gives a different picture of the track.

Latest update from the BBC at 7.29am:

"A search for a trawler missing off the Kent coast, with four people on board, has been suspended.
Rescue teams began searching the Channel on Wednesday afternoon, after the Belgian fishing boat went missing in rough seas and gale force winds. Dover Coastguard said the search was stood down at about 03:40 GMT because of bad weather. No trace has been found of the boat or the crew, who are believed to be Dutch, Portuguese and Belgian.
Coastguards said their families had been informed. A coastguard helicopter, two Kent lifeboats and a French search and rescue helicopter carried out the search. They were joined by several other fishing boats."