The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is now investigating the circumstances that led to a commercial fishermen going overboard in the English Channel.

Fisherman Darren Brown fell overboard from his 10 metre fishing vessel, Our Sarah Jane on 9 June.

Despite extensive searches in the English Channel by lifeboats, coastguard helicopters and the French Coastguard, he has not been found.

Brown fell overboard into French waters, around 30 nautical miles south south west of Eastbourne.

It is believe he was attempting to free an obstruction around the boat’s propellers.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency received a Mayday call from the Our Sarah Jane at 12.40pm.

Lifeboats from Eastbourne, Newhaven and Shoreham, along with coastguard rescue helicopters from Lydd and Gosport, were involved in looking for Brown.

Fishing boats and other vessels using the busy shipping lane also assisted in the search.

A spokesman for RNLI Eastbourne said: “Using computer generated models which calculate the effects of wind and tide, the lifeboats, along with other commercial vessels which had arrived to help, conducted a comprehensive expanding search of the entire area. Tragically the man was not found.”

The search was called off over eight hours later.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has now announced that it is conducting an investigation into the incident.

Brown, who was 39, was from Newhaven, East Sussex.