HMS York in search for missing fishermen

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A Royal Navy warship is involved in a huge search for three men whose fishing boat went missing.

The Type 42 destroyer HMS York joined the hunt for the vessel after it failed to return from a trip off the Dorset coast.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Ruler and US Navy supply vessel 2nd Lt John P Bobo and RNLI lifeboats are also looking for the Weymouth-based fishing boat, named the Purbeck Isle, was reported missing at about 6pm yesterday. It has not been seen since leaving port on Thursday morning and could not be contacted, the Maritime Coast Agency said.

The Coastguard rescue helicopter based at Portland was requested and Portland Bill Coastguard rescue team were called. The National Coastwatch Institution at Portland Bill and The FV Betty G II from Weymouth are also assisting in the search.

Portland Coastguard has made VHF radio broadcasts to alert other vessels of the search and also to request any vessels that could assist in the search.

Cindy Rodaway, watch manager at Portland Coastguard, said: ‘The coastguard helicopter commenced a search from the air of known fishing grounds of this vessel as soon as we were alerted.

‘We have also searched utilising the skills of the lifeboat crew and the crews of the Navy warships and the electronic search aids at their disposal.”

Weymouth all weather lifeboat, the Ernest and Mabel, launched at 7.15pm and is still searching, along with the Lyme Regis inshore lifeboat, the Spirit of Loch Fyne, which set out just after 11pm.

Additional shoreline searches of the coast to the west of Weymouth are also being carried out.