RNLI lifeboats are searching for missing crew members after a vessel sank this morning.

HM Coastguard confirmed that they received an alert three nautical miles off the coast at Seaford, East Sussex from the emergency beacon of a fishing vessel at around 6am on Saturday.

In a search involving lifeboats, nearby fishing vessels, and the Coastguard rescue helicopter, one man has now been recovered while two other crew members are still missing, Sussex Live reports

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "HM Coastguard immediately sent the Coastguard rescue helicopter from Lydd and RNLI all weather lifeboats from both Newhaven and Eastbourne.

"Birling Gap Coastguard Rescue Team has been sent to check for sightings from the shore.

"Another fishing vessel in the area responded to the Coastguard radio broadcasts and is helping with the search. The Coastguard rescue helicopter based at Solent will also join the air search.

"The fishing vessel is a 45 foot scalloping vessel with three people on board. The search is ongoing."

Piers Stanbury, HM Coastguard Controller and the National Maritime Operations Centre confirmed that one crew member was brought to shore and debris has been located, while the search for two more missing crew members continues.

He said: "Thankfully one of the three people on board at the time of sinking has been pulled out of the water and brought to shore by the Newhaven RNLI lifeboat but the intensive air and sea search for the two missing crew continues.

"Debris has been located close to location of the EPIRB alert location but no life raft has been found as yet."