Desperate dad of missing fisherman wishing for ‘miracle’ return of sunk boat crew

Coast guards patrol the beach looking for the remaining crew (Image: Jon Santa Cruz/REX/Shutterstock)

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A desperate dad is wishing for the safe return of his son and another crew member who were both on board a fishing vessel which sank yesterday morning.

Adam Harper and Robert Morley are still missing and a search for them was called off this afternoon.

The vessel, called Joanna C, which had three men onboard, came in to difficulties at 6am and sank off the coast of Newhaven.

A huge search operation soon got underway in an attempt to rescue the men.

Dave Bickerstaff, one of the men onboard, was thankfully recovered conscious from the sea by an RNLI lifeboat and brought to safety.

An RNLI lifeboat searching for the two missing fishermen
(Image: Jon Santa Cruz/REX/Shutterstock)

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The other two crew members, named on social media as Adam Harper and Robert Morley, are still missing.

Well-wishes have been pouring in for the two men while a GoFundMe page has been set-up to raise funds for the families.

Steve Walters, understood to be Adam's dad, posted a message on his Facebook page wishing for their safe recovery.

The search was called off this afternoon
(Image: Jon Santa Cruz/REX/Shutterstock)

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“I would like to send all my love, heart and wishes to Rob’s family," he said.

"This is a very tearful moment for both families still hoping for two miracles to happen.

“It is time to come home to your families now lads.

"If anybody knows of Rob’s family, can you share this to them for me?

“Much love to everyone and stay safe lads for those at sea.”

Another person, who claimed to know the pair very well, added: "Praying for Rob and Adam. There must be a miracle."

HM Coastguard received an emergency alert from the vessel located three nautical miles off the coast at Seaford near Newhaven yesterday morning.

Coast guards scour the sea looking for the missing crew
(Image: Jon Santa Cruz/REX/Shutterstock)

They immediately sent a rescue helicopter.

Search parties began scouring the waters for a second time at 7.30am today while locally named Mr Harper, 26, and Mr Morley, 38, remain missing at sea.

A spokesperson said: "HM Coastguard confirmed that the search which resumed at 7.30am Sunday morning, has now finished at 2.30pm.

"Units helping with the search today included Newhaven and Eastbourne RNLI lifeboats and Eastbourne and Birling Gap Coastguard Rescue Teams as well as local fishing vessels.

"Sadly nothing further has been found today."

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