Crewman missing from cargo vessel after gales

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A search is underway to find a missing sailor who fell overboard in North Lincolnshire during last night’s gales.

The man’s vessel, a small cargo ship, was moored in the River Trent at Gunness and was found abandoned as conditions deteriorated on Wednesday just after 7.30pm.

The MV Sea Melody was working ropes, when the crewman became entangled and was pulled overboard. He immediately disappeared from view.

RAF Rescue Helicopter 128 from RAF Leconfield was immediately re-tasked from a previous incident, to attend the scene.

The helicopter utilised his FLIR (Forward Looking Infra Red) camera to seek a heat source from the casualty. A Coastguard team from Hull was also tasked to the area to assist with the search.

Although the helicopter searched extensively to his fuel endurance, and the Coastguard team searched the shore side and surrounds, nothing could be found.

The man is believed to be a 45 year old foreign national.

Weather conditions in the area, which were very poor with gale force winds, and cold, driving rain, hindered the search.

Watch Manager Mike Puplett said: “We understand that the crewman was not wearing a life jacket, and in these conditions particularly, I would say this should have been an essential bare minimum of safety equipment.”

He said the search would continue this morning.