Tributes To Trawler Sinking Skipper

Tributes have been paid to the skipper of a trawler who died after the vessel sank in the North Sea.

The man, named locally as James Noble, and two others were rescued by RAF helicopters after the Ocean Way got into difficulties off the Northumberland coast on Sunday. The 45-year-old skipper later died.

The search 100 miles off the coast for two other missing crew members aged 38 and 32 has been called off.

The two survivors, men aged 38 and 28, were flown to Wansbeck Hospital, Northumberland, suffering from hypothermia, and have been released following treatment.

It is believed the four crew members were Filipino. Mr Noble was from Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, but moved to the Newcastle area two years ago, the Press and Journal newspaper reported.

One friend told the paper Mr Noble was a "fine lad'' while a former colleague told STV News he was "well-known and well respected''.

Humber Coastguard said the vessel, registered in Fraserburgh, was last heard from about 100 miles east of the Farne Islands.

It began transmitting an emergency beacon and attempts were made to contact the skipper as a rescue operation was launched.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, said: "We are greatly saddened by this tragic news and our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of the crew at this very difficult time.

"This terrible accident highlights the very real dangers our fishermen face on a constant basis and is a sober reminder of the important role fishing plays in putting food on our plates.''

Scotland's Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead said: "This is a terrible tragedy and my thoughts are with the loved ones and friends of the crew. This tragedy will be felt by all fishing communities and is a horrible reminder of the dangers our fishermen face day in, day out to bring fish to our tables with many paying the ultimate sacrifice.

"I would like to pay tribute to all the personnel involved in the rescue operation.''

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