The States of Jersey Police has issued an update on Operation Nectar, the investigation into the collision between the L’Ecume II and Commodore Goodwill
The State of Jersey Police has issued an update on Operation Nectar, the investigation into the collision between the fishing vessel ‘L’Ecume II’ and a 126-metre ro-ro cargo freighter, Condor’s Commodore Goodwill, enroute to St Helier port, Jersey in the early hours of 08 December 2022.
The 18-metre ‘L’Ecume II’ sank immediately with three crew onboard. The bodies of crewmen Larry Simyunn and Jervis Baligat were recovered from the wreck of the trawler which is lying in around 30-metres of water off St Ouen’s Bay, west of Jersey, but the body of Skipper Michael Michieli remains missing.
Following the collision between Condor’s Commodore Goodwill and the fishing vessel ‘L’Ecume II’ on 8 December 2022, the States of Jersey Police (SOJP) have been continuing their investigation (Operation Nectar).
The States of Jersey Police (SOJP) has said that significant progress is being made with the investigation and most of the evidential opportunities have now been completed. The SOJP says that:
- More than 165 hours of underwater CCTV footage has been reviewed and documented by a team of two reviewers. This took six weeks of work.
- In addition, other CCTV footage has been recovered to provide a timeline of events covering the movement of the crew of ‘L’Ecume II’ in the hours leading up to the disaster.
- More than 400 lines of enquiry have been recorded since the start of the investigation, with more than 300 now complete.
- Evidential accounts have been obtained from around 80 witnesses, which have been focussed enquiries due to the limited number of eyewitnesses to the events of the collision.
- The team of investigators have registered more than 500 documents, more than 300 pieces of media (for example, CCTV footage and photographs) and more than 170 items of property which have all been documented.
- Family Liaison Officers (FLOs) continue to support the families of Mr Michieli, Mr Baligat, and Mr Simyunn in Jersey and the Philippines.
Once the ‘L’Ecume II’ is raised and is on land, it will be held as part of the police investigation at a secure location. The investigation team will ensure a methodical and meticulous search by specially trained police officers.
Forensic examination of the wreck will take place to recover evidential items and record imagery of its damage. This process is expected to take a considerable amount of time.
Senior Investigating Officer, Andrew Shearwood, said:
“The amount of work the team has undertaken over the last few months – as an investigation team of 12 people – has been remarkable. CCTV has been the biggest single piece of work with a review of over 165 hours of underwater footage now complete.
“The footage has given us a good understanding of the damage caused to the trawler and the current position of the ‘L’Ecume II’. It has also identified where further evidential opportunities are to be found when the wreck is raised.
“Raising ‘L’Ecume II’ is likely to generate further lines of enquiry. The investigation is complex and there will be many more months of work ahead for the investigation team.
“We continue to work closely with Ports of Jersey and Government around the logistics of raising the vessel. Once the wreck is raised, our primary objective is to search for Mr Michieli. We will also recover forensic evidence that will assist the investigation team in understanding how the collision occurred.”