LIFEBOAT crews have told of the moment a boat captain wearing just a pair of jeans and a t-shirt was pulled from the water after his boat sank off Newhaven.
Eastbourne and Newhaven RNLIs were both involved in the search.
Two men are still missing at sea.
Adam Harper and Robert Morley remain missing but emergency teams were able to locate the boat’s captain, Dave Bickerstaff.
Andy Bull, a volunteer crew member at Newhaven Lifeboat, spotted him in the water.
He said: “After a while of searching you start to question, ‘Are we in the right place?’, while still looking and trying to visualise anything in the water that could be relevant.”
It was then that he spotted Dave, calling out to his crew-mates: “Starboard-side. There’s someone in the water.”
He was wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, clinging to a lifebuoy.
Newhaven Lifeboat Coxswain Lewis Arnold and his crew prepared the onboard casualty recovery system.
Despite perilously cold conditions, the casualty remained conscious and was successfully retrieved from the water.
Lewis said: “This is a very brave man who did exceptionally well to hold on for us, in 11 degree celsius water for an extended period.
“It was a relief to see him.”