Man feared dead after tug capsizes

A search for a crew member missing after a tug capsized and sank on the Thames in south-east London was called off yesterday afternoon.

Two crew members were rescued after the tug, called Chieftain and which was towing a barge with a crane on it, went down off Greenwich pier just before 11am yesterday. A search-and-rescue operation was launched for the missing crewman, with efforts being co-ordinated by the Woolwich-based London coastguard. But about four hours after the sinking the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the search, involving police, the Port of London Authority, the fire brigade and lifeboat crews, had been called off.

A passer-by who witnessed the sinking said: "The front tug seemed to hit a buoy and capsized. It was submerged within a matter of minutes. I saw two men being pulled out of the water on the other side of the river."