FLOWERS and candles have been left at a marina as part of a memorial to two fishermen still missing at sea.

Tributes to Adam Harper and Robert Morley have been placed at the marina in Newhaven after their boat, the Joanna C, sank three miles off the coast on Saturday morning.

The captain, Dave Bickerstaff was pulled from the ocean wearing just a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.

Tributes have been paid to the pair, who are feared dead, on a fundraising site which has already raised more than £15,000 to support their families.

Moving messages included one from Lynsey Bruton, who said: “Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the crew of the Joanna C. We may be in the South East of Scotland but we stand side by side in these tragic times.”

Tony Durkan said: “My heart goes out to the people affected by this tragedy, may God have mercy upon their souls.”

Another donor, Nathan Hill, said: “To help the affected families out during these most difficult of times. You have our deepest sympathies.”

Lewes and Polegate MP Maria Caulfield was among those who paid tribute to the pair and said the incident has had a “devastating impact” on the community.

She said: “It has had a huge impact. This is what every fishing community dreads.

“A vessel and fishermen being lost at sea is something that everyone dreads and hopes never happens.

“It has been quite a while in Newhaven since an incident like this had happened.

“Obviously over the weekend we weren’t sure what was going to happen and everyone was hoping and praying that they would be found.

“It has had a devastating impact and I think it is a reminder once again that when fishing communities go out to sea, how much of a risk they are taking.

“Everyone is just deeply shocked and trying to come to terms with it.

“In Newhaven is a very small area where the fishing community are very close.

“There is a feeling I think that people haven’t really respected how much risk fishermen put themselves under going out to sea.

“Not only is it a dangerous living but it is quite difficult to make ends meet at times because those boats are hugely expensive and it is an uncertain income.

“One month you can have a great income and the next few months can be particularly dry in terms of fishing numbers. It is a very uncertain industry.

“I’m hoping people recognise what a difficult job they have.”

The sinking of the Joanna C sparked a major search operation with boats, helicopters and planes all called in to scour the sea and shore for three missing fishermen.

An emergency beacon was sent from the boat, a 45ft scalloping vessel registered in Brixham with three people on board, at about 6am with lifeboats being launched from several stations in Sussex to assist the vessel.

Debris from the boat was later found in the water.

Ian Bickerstaff, who is Dave Bickerstaff’s great uncle, said the loss of Robert Morley, who was “like family” to him, has left “a big dent” in his life.

The fishmonger, who has a fleet of boats, last saw the 38-year-old fisherman just a day before he set off on the trip, when he was “full of beans”.

Ian told The Argus: “Poor Robbie was with our company for many, many years. He is like family to me. Robbie started fishing with our family many years ago, he came through the grade.

“I was with him the day before he went to sea and that is the last time I saw him.

“He was a lovely local lad and he was full of beans all the time. He loved his fishing.

“Robbie only left us and moved away from Newhaven because the rich pickings were better in the West Country. He did say to me that he was planning to pack up soon and was planning to get a job on land. That is the sad thing.

“To be honest, we certainly won’t find him alive, I hope we find him to bury him. I’m particularly getting to the stage where I don’t want to do it much more. One, because of family and two, the rewards are very little now. It has left a big dent in me. The whole of my family is devastated.”

Newhaven RNLI thanked people in the town for their support.

A spokesman said: “Thank you everyone in the Newhaven community for your incredible support today, on the water, down at the station, feeding the crew. It’s been a tough day. Our thoughts are with the families of the three fishermen of the Joanna C tonight.”