The search for three Jersey fishermen missing from the 18-metre trawler l’Ecume II resumed today after it was suspended overnight
The search for three fishermen who missing after their 18.5 metre fishing boat was involved in a collision with a ro-ro freight carrier in the earlier hours of yesterday morning resumed today after it was suspended overnight.
In a statement this morning Jersey Coast Guard said:
“Jersey Coastguard has now resumed the search and rescue operation following yesterday’s collision at sea, which left three fishermen missing.
“The search will involve the RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat, Channel Islands Airsearch, and the Ports of Jersey tug. Many members of the local fishing fleet, and other vessels, have also joined the search.
“A remotely operated underwater craft has surveyed the seabed where the collision took place and has confirmed the location of the fishing boat L’Ecume II. The vessel lies in approximately 40 metres of water, which is too deep for divers to access without specialist equipment.
“Jersey Coastguard will continue to coordinate the response, in conjunction with the States of Jersey Police, the Government of Jersey, and other agencies.”
The Coast Guard made a plea to anyone who finds debris on beaches to note where they found it and call them on 0153447705 immediately.
The Jersey trawler l’Ecume II sank around five-nautical miles west of Jersey at around 5.30am yesterday morning, Thursday 08 December, when a ro-ro freighter, the 11166 tonnes Commodore Goodwill collided with the boat. The captain of the freighter made an emergency call to the Coast Guard and began to search the area for survivors.
Coastguards have deployed the RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats, two French rescue helicopters, Guernsey’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat and a French naval fixed-wing aircraft.
Also involved in the search are Channel Island Air Search, Ports of Jersey’s pilot boat, and the Government of Jersey’s Fisheries rib.
The 126-metre Commodore Goodwill later returned to St Helier Harbour with visible damage to its bow.
Later in the day the wreck of the l’Ecume II was found on the seabed at a depth of around 40-metres in the vicinity of where the accident happened. A search for the missing skipper and two crewmen has so far been unsuccessful.
A large number of local and French fishing vessels have also been helping with the search, as well as drones, beach lifeguards on jet-skis, and honorary police officers.
The skipper of the l’Ecume was named as local Jersey man Michael Michieli. His two crewmen were from the Philippines.