The search for three Jersey fishermen missing from the 18-metre trawler l'Ecume II resumed today after it was suspended overnight

Two bodies have been recovered and brought ashore from the wreck of the fishing boat l’Ecume II

Two bodies have been recovered and brought ashore from the wreck of the fishing boat l’Ecume II which sank off Jersey Island on Thursday 08 December last.

Skipper Michael Michieli and crewmen Larry Simyunn and Jervis Baligat have been missing since their 18-metre trawler sunk off the northwest coast of Jersey a week ago, in a collision with the 126 -metre Condor freighter, Commodore Goodwill.

A search vessel brought the two bodies back to St Helier Harbour on Wednesday night, after they were found earlier in the day. They have not yet been identified.

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The Jersey-registered l’Ecume II left the harbour of St Helier in the early hours of Thursday 08 December with local skipper Michael Michieli and two Filipino crewmen Larry Simyunn and Jervis Baligat onboard. Around 05.30am the Jersey Coast Guard received a call from the Commodore Goodwill informing them that they were involved in a collision around five nautical miles west of Jersey. The Commodore Goodwill turned and searched the area for survivors. The Jersey Coast Guard launched a major search and rescue operation.

Coastguards 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 were Channel Island Air Search, Ports of Jersey’s pilot boat, and the Government of Jersey’s Fisheries rib.

A large number of local fishing vessels have also been helping with the search, as well as drones, beach lifeguards on jet-skis, and honorary police officers.

A remotely operated underwater craft was used to survey the seabed where the collision took place and has confirmed the location of the fishing boat L’Ecume II. The vessel lay in approximately 40 metres of water, which is too deep for divers to access without specialist equipment.


A sonar image showing the wreck of the trawler on the seabed (34822283)

A sonar image showing the wreck of the trawler on the seabed (34822283)

A large offshore support vessel, the MV Freja, was commissioned by the Ports of Jersey to survey the site.

On Friday evening (09 December) the Jersey Coast Guard called of the search and rescue operation and instead change focus to a search and recovery operation.

It was announced by the Ports of Jersey Authority on Monday 12 December, that two parallel investigations into the collision were continuing and likely to take several weeks to complete.

An investigation has been commissioned by the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture in accordance with Jersey’s Shipping Law 2002.

On Tuesday 13 December, it was confirmed by States of Jersey police that two bodies had been found close to where the trawler had sank.

The search and recovery of the third and last missing fisherman continues.

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Two bodies recovered and brought ashore from l’Ecume II wreck

by editor time to read: 6 min