Body recovered after search for missing fisherman off Torquay
A BODY was found early on Tuesday morning by rescuers searching for a fishing boat which went missing off Torquay.
One man was on board the 19 foot boat JCK which was last seen near Thatcher Rock at around 6.20pm on Monday.
Shortly after midnight a body was discovered by the Exmouth RNLI lifeboat, which had joined both Torbay lifeboats, a rescue helicopter and Royal Navy vessels in the search.
The police helicopter also took part in the search while the Coastguard aircraft went back to Portland to refuel.
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Gale force winds of 60mph had been reported in the English Channel.
Devon and Cornwall Police said the next of kin had been informed.
Coastguards said that pieces of wreckage from the JCK had been found on the coastline.
Coastguards had also patrolled the shore looking for the lone fisherman whose 19-foot boat was missing.
The conditions at sea were said to be 'horrendous', with Westerly gales causing difficult conditions.
The situation was being co-ordinated by Brixham Coastguards.
A spokesman for Torbay RNLI lifeboat said the fishing boat had been reported missing just after 6pm.
The boat was last seen off Thatcher Rock and the alarm was raised when the boat failed to return to harbour.
Two vessels had been out fishing, but only one of them returned to harbour. It is understood that the fisherman on board the first vessel then reported the second one missing.
Both Torbay lifeboats were involved in the search, as were Royal Navy ships HMS Somerset and HMS St Albans.
The Torbay inshore lifeboat was searching coves and rocks between Thatcher Rock and London Bridge.
Winds were said to be blowing at Force Four.
On Twitter, SgtSheps of Torbay police wrote: "The searchers are currently working in gale force winds of up to 58mph with rough seas.
"Just amazing to watch Brixham Coastguard working on this search. So much professionalism & hard work going on.
"My thanks to everyone who helped in the search & all those on twitter tweeting their support. My thoughts & prayers are with the family tonight.
"It was truly amazing to see the efforts made by all the services in the search, coastguard, RN, RNLI, Police and merchant vessels #teamwork,"