The search for the missing fishing boat was resumed on Friday morning

Two bodies have been recovered from the Channel as the search for missing fishing boat Z85 Morgenster continues in French waters.

The Belgian vessel, which had been fishing in the Dover Strait on Wednesday, failed to return from its trip and a major search operation was launched shortly after.

A coastguard rescue helicopter and three all-weather lifeboats have been involved in scouring the south east of the Channel, as well as a French search and rescue helicopter.

Rough seas and gale force winds made proved extremely challenging for crews and have hampered their efforts to locate the vessel.

So far, a lifejacket and wooden debris have so far been spotted in the area.

Four people were reported to be on board the missing fishing boat, with two bodies recovered from the search area on Thursday, believed to be missing crew.

A coastguard spokesperson said: “The joint search and rescue operation between Dover coastguard and the French maritime authorities had continued for most of Thursday.

“The search is now concentrated on an area four miles from the French coast. Any further involvement of the UK authorities will be at the request of the French coast guard.

“Vessels in the area will be asked to remain vigilant and to report any sightings.”

RNLI divisional operations manager Allen Head said that given the scale of the search efforts, it was unusual to have not found a hull floating on the ocean surface.