Two bodies discovered in search of fishing boat which sank after freighter crash

Two bodies have been discovered near the wreckage of a fishing boat that sunk after colliding with a freight ship off the coast of Jersey.

The L'Ecume II is believed to have gone down after a collision with the Commodore Goodwill on Thursday 8 December.

Jersey Police have not publicly confirmed the identities of the two people found dead, but three fishermen have been missing since the collision.

Three fishermen - Mick Michieli, Larry Simyun and Jervis Baligat - were on board the L'Ecume II at the time of the collision. Credit: Jersey Coastguard

A search and recovery operation has been underway at the site off Jersey's west coast over the weekend.

Jersey officials say it "will continue while the weather permits".

States of Jersey Police say the families of the three crew members are being supported by specially trained officers.

A fundraiser set up by the daughter of the L'Ecume II's skipper, Mick Michieli, to support the families of his crew has already raised more than £80,000.

Don Thompson, the President of the Jersey Fishermen's Association, issued a statement on behalf of the island's fishing community:

"The past few days since the loss of the L'Ecume II and her crew, have been extremely sad and emotional for Jersey's fishing community, as it will have been for the immediate families, both here and in the Philippines.

"The news that the research vessel 'Freja' has today, successfully recovered two bodies from the wreck site, gives some comfort and relief, and will help family members and those immediately affected, with some form of closure."

Don Thompson says the discovery of two bodies will offer friends and family of the crew some form of closure.

He added: "Jersey Fishermen's Association on behalf of Jersey's fishing community wish to express our gratitude to Ports of Jersey, the lifeboat and air-search crews along with all the individual fishermen who have been, and who continue to play a part in what has been a massive search and recovery operation.

"The pain of loss will remain with many for years to come, but some comfort will come in the knowledge that stone has been left unturned to recover the bodies of the crew of L'ecume II."

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