We're gonna need a bigger boat! Moment 1,000-tonne trawler ploughs into tiny vessel despite screams of fishermen in dramatic hit-and-run smash in the English Channel

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Two fishermen were left screaming for their lives when a 1,000-tonne trawler ploughed into their tiny boat in the English Channel.

Jake Davison, 27, was looking to net the ‘big one’ off the coast off Eastbourne in East Sussex with a friend, when they spotted the giant trawler hurtling towards them.

A camera, which was set up to record Jake’s expedition, ended up filming the frantic pair as they screamed at the trawlermen, to make their presence known. 

But with no other course left to take, they were eventually forced to scatter their fishing rods and nets across the deck, and jump for their lives towards the bow.

Video footage shows the pair shouting and angrily swearing as the trawler ploughs straight into the left side of the stern before sailing off. 

Jack and his shipmate got to their feet and managed to sail the boat safely back to harbour without it sinking, despite him suffering serious injuries to his back.

For months, the railway worker was unable to stand at work for extended periods and had to take super strength painkillers. He also had flashbacks of what happened for months after the incident and would wake up in the middle of the night.

The heart-stopping moment a trawler smashed into a fishing boat and then sailed off. Pictured: The trawler approaching Jake and his friend on the small boat

The heart-stopping moment a trawler smashed into a fishing boat and then sailed off. Pictured: The trawler approaching Jake and his friend on the small boat 

Jake and his friend could be heard shouting and swearing at the trawlermen following the crash

Jake and his friend could be heard shouting and swearing at the trawlermen following the crash 

Jake Davidson (pictured) with a fish on his fishing vessel

Jake Davidson (pictured) with a fish on his fishing vessel 

It later emerged a potentially fatal accident was only avoided as Jake was able to move his chartered boat forward a few feet just moments before the impact.

The unnamed owners of the trawler that hit them later had their licence to sail temporarily revoked after failing to spot them.

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Details emerged after Jake, who lives in Eastbourne, accepted an out-of-court settlement after he sued the owners of the trawler for damages.

‘We could easily have been killed – it’s a miracle we are still alive,’ he said. ‘If I hadn’t moved the anchor line it would easily have cut the boat in half like butter. 

‘If we had gone down there was no one around to help. We were 8-10 miles from shore in a small boat in middle of winter we would have had no chance. We would have frozen to death in the water.

‘I definitely thought we were done for and were going down.’

The incident occurred in January 2022 when Jake was just hours into recording his latest fishing expedition as part of his amateur YouTube fishing channel ‘Muscle Fishing.’

He added: ‘We had only been out six hours and had some lines out but wasn’t having much luck with any big bites we just had a few eels.

‘We were just joking around and chatting and spotted a boat in the distance but I didn’t see it as a threat and carried on fishing without looking at it. 

‘The week before a similar trawler had pulled nearby and waved and this particular trawler looked like it had turned away when I saw it around half a mile away.

Jake (pictured) suffered serious injuries to his back in the crash

Jake (pictured) suffered serious injuries to his back in the crash 

The unnamed owners of the trawler that hit them later had their licence to sail temporarily revoked after failing to spot them

The unnamed owners of the trawler that hit them later had their licence to sail temporarily revoked after failing to spot them

The pair were forced to scatter their fishing rods and nets across the deck, and jump for their lives towards the bow

The pair were forced to scatter their fishing rods and nets across the deck, and jump for their lives towards the bow

Pictured: Jake Davison onboard his fishing vessel

Pictured: Jake Davison onboard his fishing vessel

‘At the time I was really into a catch and playing it so I didn’t actually realise just how close it was until the last minute. Then I looked up and it was right on us and coming at full steam. I dumped the rods. I thought it was going to crack the boat in two.’

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Jake rushed off camera to drag the anchor line crucially moving the position of the boat slightly to stop it from hitting them straight on. The trawler skimmed along the left-hand side backend of the boat rather than going straight through it.

He added: ‘It’s still amazing the hull didn’t crack with the impact. I whacked my back on the backbar and had to hold on for dear life. I still thought it could have been badly damaged under water. So I cut the fishing lines as we knew we could still be in serious trouble.’

Jake said he has been determined not to let the incident rule his life and is back out fishing and taking marine safety courses to be as prepared as possible.

He went on: ‘I can’t let it stop me from getting out there and now skipper my own boat in which I have extensive safety kit. Hopefully this will alert other small boat operators to the potential dangers and make them more aware of what could happen.’

Lawyer Craig Phillips of Manchester-based boating accident specialists Express Solicitors which handled Jake’s claim, said: ‘This terrifying incident was caught on camera and shows just how lucky Jake was to survive. It just shows even on the high seas people need to be aware of their surroundings at all times.’