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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 March 2007, 21:10 GMT
'No hope' for missing fisherman
Search and rescue helicopter
Two Royal Navy warships and a helicopter took part in the search
Coastguards say there is "no possibility" that a fisherman missing after his boat was found adrift off West Sussex will be found alive.

An intensive sea and air search was launched for the skipper of the 18ft vessel. But as night fell the search was called off.

The man, thought to be in his 40s, sailed out of Littlehampton Harbour on Saturday morning.

His empty boat was spotted two miles off the coast at 1143 GMT.

A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "It was quite an intensive search operation but unfortunately nothing was found.

"The coastguards will probably do a shoreline search in the morning, but there would be no possibility of survival after such a long time in the water at this time of year."

Coastguards were alerted after another fisherman who left the harbour at the same time became concerned when the man failed to return to shore.

Three RNLI lifeboats from Littlehampton and Selsey and a coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lee-on-Solent were scrambled.

Two Royal Navy warships, HMS Severn and Tracker, also joined the search.

The one-man vessel, which was found with its nets still cast, was towed back to Littlehampton.

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