No sign of Portland Isle or her three crew missing off Dorset

A multi-agency search is underway for a fishing boat and her three crew after she went missing last night off Weymouth.

The boat?s bait supplier raised the alarm after they failed to make contact with the crew on Thursday.

The 11m traditional wooden cargo boat, called Portland Isle, is crewed by her owner/skipper and two others, described as ?very experienced? by Andy Alcock, secretary of the Weymouth and Portland Fisherman and Licensed Boatman Association.

Alcock told BBC News: ?At the moment we are still hopeful. Weather conditions were reasonable ? there is a liferaft onboard to they could be up or down the channel somewhere.?

Two Royal Navy ships, an American Navy supply vessel and a commercial survey vessel joined the coastguard and RNLI in the search.

Cindy Rodaway, Watch Manager at Portland Coastguard, said the helicopter searched Portland Isle?s known fishing grounds last night. She explained: ?We have also searched all evening utilising the skills of the lifeboat crew and the crews of the Navy warships and the electronic search aids at their disposal.?

According to the BBC, the crew was rescued previously in January 2011 when she began taking on water off Chesil Beach, west of Portland.

A statement from the coastguard declares: ?No communication has been made with the vessel, or any trace found since the fishing vessel was observed by other fishermen departing the port.?

The search continues.

Watch a video of the rescue from January 2011 below: