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Man Dies After Fishing Boat Sinks

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5:47am 22nd December 2011
(Updated 5:47am 22nd December 2011)

Christmas lights have been dimmed and flags are being flown at half mast in Mevagissey after a fisherman lost his life following the sinking of his boat.

He has been named locally as Ian Thomas. Another man is recovering after a big rescue operation on Tuesday night.

The Heather Anne went down just after ten o'clock. Another fishing crew nearby put out a mayday and went in to search for the men. The crew of the Lauren Kate managed to drag them aboard.

Both Falmouth lifeboats were scrambled, along with a chopper from Culdrose. It winched one casualty up and took him to the Royal Cornwall hospital. Doctors could not save him.

The other casualty was taken to Mevagissey where he was met by paramedics. They say he is cold and wet but otherwise OK.

Andy Cattrell from Falmouth coastguard is paying tribute to the crew of the Lauren Kate. He said, "We have no indications of why the fishing vessel sank in Gerrans Bay. We would like to thank the crew of the fishing vessel Lauren Kate for their speedy assistance in locating and recovering the two crew from the water and for making the mayday call.

"They were both recovered from the water relatively quickly. If we'd have had to send the lifeboat round it takes a bit of time to get there. Because the Lauren Kate was on scene they were pulled out of the water very quickly indeed and, of course, they were also able to raise the alarm.

"The protocol is that we've passed the details onto the police and the Maritime Investigation Branch. They'll be looking into the incident to establish the circumstances."

Mevagissey harbour master Captain Hugh Bowles said, "Mevagissey being a very close knit community, the harbour is the nucleus of the village so this will come as devastating news. Our thoughts and sympathies are with all friends, family and the whole community."

Floral tributes are building up on the harbour, alongside a lifebelt from the Heather Anne. It is all that has been recovered.

5:47am 22nd December 2011

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