The bodies of two men, missing since their boat sank in the English Channel off Shoreham earlier this month, have been found

16 August

Sussex Police have confirmed that two bodies recovered from the sea off Shoreham on Monday ( 14 August) are those of two missing fishermen whose boat sank off Shoreham.

They have been named as 40-year-old Mircea Ilie and Irinel Popovici, aged 41. Both of the men lived in Brighton.

They had gone out fishing with 50-year-old Traiam Dumitrache from London, and another man in the early hours of the 6 August when their five metre boat was in collision with another vessel at around 12.30am and sank.

A fisherman wearing a yellow jacket holding his catch

Traiam Dumitrache lost his life when the boat sank. Credit: Sussex Police

No Mayday was issued.

The UK Coastguard only became aware of the incident when a man was found clinging to a fishing buoy by a commercial fishermen, more than six hours after the sinking.

Just after 8am, the body of Dumitrache was recovered and brought ashore by the crew of Coastguard helicopter. The search continued for Ilie and Popovici before it was called off later that afternoon.

Continued below…

Sussex Police and marine accident investigators have named the boat believed to be involved in the Shoreham boat sinking.

The vessel, the scallop dredging boat, Vertrouwen, left Shoreham around the time of the incident bound for Grimsby.

Police are in touch with the owners, MacDuff Shellfish Ltd, who are co-operating fully with the investigation.

11 August

Sussex Police have publicly identified a scallop dredging boat, Vertrouwen, as the vessel believed to be involved in the Shoreham boat sinking, which has left one man dead and two others still missing.

The incident happened last Sunday morning (6 August). The four men were on a fishing trip when their five metre boat was in collision with another vessel at around 12.30am.

The boat sank in the English Channel. No Mayday was issued and the UK Coastguard was not contacted.

Boats search for missing men after a boat sinks off Shoreham in the English Channel

Boats search for the two missing men. Credit: Oliver Button/PA Images

The alarm was only raised when one of the men was found clinging to a fishing buoy by a commercial fishermen, more than five hours after the sinking.

Another man’s body was recovered by an HM Coastguard helicopter, while the emergency services searched for the other two people on board. The search was called off later that evening.

Sussex Police said the scallop dredging boat, Vertrouwen left Shoreham around the time of the incident bound for Grimsby.

Officers are now in touch with the owners, MacDuff Shellfish Ltd, who are co-operating fully with the investigation.

Police have also formally named the man, whose body was recovered from the sea.

He is  50-year-old Traiam Dumitrache, a Romanian national from London.

 

07 August

An investigation is underway after a fatal incident in the English Channel off Shoreham yesterday morning (6 August) which has left one man dead.

Two men remain missing while a fourth man was pulled from the sea by the crew of a fishing boat after he clung to a buoy for several hours.

The 45-year-old remains in a stable condition in hospital under observation.

Sussex Police said the men, two of whom are related, are all Romanian nationals; two are from Brighton and two, including the survivor, are from London.

two boats on the water helping in the search of missing men off Shoreham

Boats help in the search. Credit: Oliver Button/PA Images

The men all left Shoreham Harbour shortly after midnight on Sunday for a fishing trip on board a five-metre boat.

According to the survivor, the boat was hit by a larger vessel and sank at around 2am. It is unclear as to why they didn’t contact the UK Coastguard or issue a Mayday.

He was rescued around two miles from Shoreham Harbour just before 6am and transferred to the Shoreham RNLI Lifeboat.

A major search was subsequently launched by HM Coastguard supported by Sussex Police.

Coastguard search and rescue helicopters from Lydd and Lee-on-Solent, together with Coastguard Rescue Teams from Shoreham and Littlehampton and RNLI lifeboats from Shoreham and Brighton plus several other local vessels were all been involved in the search.

Police officers also searched beaches between Brighton and Worthing.

The body of a man was recovered from the sea and brought ashore by Coastguard helicopter around 8.15am.

The search was suspended by late afternoon.

A controller with the UK Coastguard, Andy Jenkins, commented: “Following an extensive search of the area using multiple assets nothing further has been found at this time so the decision has been made to suspend the search pending further information.”

“A review of the incident details will be ongoing through the rest of the day,” he added.

Detective Chief Inspector Rachel Carr said: “Sussex Police are undertaking a joint investigation with the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch. We are now trying to establish the circumstances and to identify the other vessel involved.”

“An earlier appeal for information prompted a significant number of calls and I would like to thank people for their prompt responses, which enabled us to quickly identify who had been involved.”

“Our thoughts are with the families and friends of all those who have been involved in this tragic incident,” she added.

Police are appealing for anyone with information about the incident or the boat involved to call 101 quoting Operation Barnet.