Heartbroken residents in Brixham have begun lighting candles and leaving cards and flower beside a renowned statue in the town in the hope of the safe return of two of its fishermen lost at sea.
Brixham fishing vessel Joanna C sunk off the Sussex coast yesterday morning, November 21. There were three men aboard the 45-foot scalloping vessel.
One person was found clinging to a lifebuoy, and was recovered from the water by the Newhaven lifeboat and transferred to hospital.
The search began at 6am yesterday with HM Coastguard receiving an alert from the emergency beacon of the vessel, around three nautical miles off the coast at Seaford.
At one point the coastguard was coordinating as many as 14 sea vessels, and some boats. The search was halted overnight and has since resumed.
People have been lighting candles across the town and beyond for them to come back home safe. Today, local residents in Brixham have also begun leaving candles and other items by the Man and Boy statue.
Among them was Sian Danielle. She said: “I’m just so touched at how Brixham as a community pulls together. The love and warmth that comes together at times like this is beautiful.
“It’s a very emotional weekend for many people in Brixham and all we can do is pull together, and pray that they are found and returned to their families.
“Brixham community will continue to light candles and support each other no matter what it takes.”
Another resident who visited the statue today said: “It is just nice to see that the Brixham community can pull together and support the local fisherman and their families at such an awful time.”
Exmouth Coastguard and Rescue Team have posted a candle tribute on its Facebook page stating: “For those lost at sea from the Joanna C and the Brixham fishing community.”
Today a fundraising campaign has been launched by a previous owner of the Brixham fishing vessel which sunk off the Sussex coast with two fisherman lost at sea.
Former fisherman Tony Rowe, 40, of Brixham, was shocked to not only hear of the news but to discover the boat was one has previously owned.
Tony was at sea for 10 years and owned the Joanna C vessel for around five years up until 2006. The boat was based in Brixham and Tony sold it when he decided to stop being a fisherman.
After hearing the boat had sunk and the search for the fisherman, Tony has decided to launch a GoFundMe online fundraiser to raise funds for all those affected.
He said: “I’m raising money in aid of The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen so they can distribute to help all those affected.
“Our prayers are with those directly involved and the wider community who all have been affected in some way.
“The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen provide emergency support and practical, financial, emotional and spiritual support to fishermen and their families.”
To make a donation click here.