A search and rescue operation is underway after a Brixham-registered fishing vessel sank off the Sussex coast.

One man has been rescued from the water by the Newhaven RNLI lifeboat. He was found clinging to a lifebuoy. He has been transferred to hospital.

The search continues for two missing crew members after the fishing vessel Joanna C sank this morning off Newhaven.

The search began at 6am when the Coastguard received an EPIRB alert located three nautical miles off the coast at Seaford near Newhaven from the emergency beacon from the vessel.

HM Coastguard immediately sent the Coastguard rescue helicopter from Lydd, supported by the Coastguard rescue helicopter based at Lee On Solent and RNLI all-weather lifeboats from both Newhaven and Eastbourne.

Birling Gap Coastguard rescue team has been sent to check for sightings from the shore.

Other fishing vessels in the area responded to the Coastguard radio broadcasts and have been helping with the search.

The fishing vessel Joanna C is a 45ft scalloping vessel registered in Brixham and three people were on board at the time of the sinking.

Piers Stanbury, Coastguard controller at the National Maritime Operations Centre, said: “Thankfully, one of the three people on board at the time of sinking has been pulled out of the water and brought to shore by the Newhaven RNLI lifeboat but the intensive air and sea search for the two missing crew continues.

“Debris has been located close to location of the EPIRB alert location but no life raft has been found as yet.”