THE search to find two fishermen lost at sea has been called off, HM Coastguard have confirmed. 

The service scrambled a search and rescue helicopter after receiving a distress beacon from a fishing vessel near Newhaven at 6am yesterday.

One crew member of the sunken 45ft scalloping vessel Joanna C, Dave Bickerstaff, was rescued by Newhaven RNLI lifeboat in the morning after being found clinging to a lifebuoy. 

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He was found conscious in the sea and was taken to hospital in a helicopter.

A search effort has been underway yesterday and today to find his fellow crewmembers, Adam Harper and Robert Morley.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, 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."