Search continues for fishermen lost at sea after boat collided with freight ship

091222 Search resumes for fishermen after Goodwill and fishing boat collide
The search for three missing fishermen resumes after the Commodore Goodwill and a fishing boat collided. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Lifeboats and fellow fishermen are still on the water as the search for three Jersey men lost at sea continues.

The official search resumed at 8am.

The L'Ecume II, a Jersey-registered fishing boat, is believed to have sunk off the island's northwest coast after colliding with the Commodore Goodwill, Condor Ferries' freight ship at around 5:30am on Thursday 8 December.

The fishing boat's skipper, Michael 'Mick' Michieli, and two as-yet-unnamed members of his crew were on board at the time of the collision.

'Mick' Michieli and two members of his crew were on board his fishing boat, L’Ecume II, at the time of the collision. Credit: Jersey Coastguard

Ports of Jersey says the location of the L'Ecume II has been confirmed.

"The vessel lies in approximately 40 metres of water, which is too deep for divers to access without specialist equipment," a spokesperson said.

The island's fishing community rallied around to help with the search - at one point around 20 fishing boats were assisting with the search.

The President of the Jersey Fishermen's Association, Don Thompson, told ITV News they were "hoping for the best" while "preparing for the worst".

JLA coxswain Andy Hibbs told ITV's Clare Burton the island's maritime community is "devastated" by what happened

Andy Hibbs, the coxswain of the Jersey Lifeboat Association, was among those searching for the missing fishermen. He decided to launch the lifeboats after he received a call from Mr Michieli's wife.

He said: "We've all been at sea all day and unfortunately the debris doesn't look good.

"We did our own searching along with all the other fishing boats, and everybody did a fantastic job. But the most important thing is to find the bodies for the family.

"The worst thing is that Mick is a very good friend of mine, I speak to him every day and I'm absolutely devastated.

"Mick was just about to sell the boat to spend more time at home and fish locally. I just really can't believe it."

Fish Merchant Louis Jackson says he hopes they find the bodies of the three men "for their families if nothing else"

This morning, Jersey's Bailiff Timothy Le Cocq said: "There will be an occasion to reflect on what has occurred, but at this time the families of those involved, and indeed those who are carrying out the coordinated and thorough search are at the forefront of my thoughts."