Fishermen off Kent had a lucky escape on Saturday after being rescued from a life raft

Two crew were rescued from the sea off Dungeness early on Saturday morning after their fishing vessel sank in the English Channel.

The French Coastguard at Cap Griz Nez alerted the UK centre in Dover that they had received a mayday call from a fishing vessel in difficulties shortly before 3.30am.

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The boat sent out a distress alert using VHF radio reporting that they were taking on water, approximately 10 miles south west of Dungeness Point.

Both the RNLI lifeboat based at Dungeness and a Coastguard Rescue Helicopter were sent to the scene, with three fishing vessels and a cargo ship also responding.

The men were recovered from a life raft by one of the nearby fishing vessels, while Dungeness RNLI attempted to pump the water off the sinking boat.

Due to the volume of water, volunteer crews were unable to save her and the vessel foundered.

UK Coastguard Julia Fuller said: “The coastguard recommends that where possible, all vessels are fitted with VHF DSC radio equipment, which can send a distress alert that will enable us to get help to the right place as soon as possible.

“This incident also serves as another reminder of why you should wear a lifejacket and have an appropriate life raft. I’m sure this crew were thankful that they had them whilst they waited to be rescued.”