Over £100,000 raised for families of fishing crew who died in sea crash

Mick Michieli, Larry Simyun and Jervis Baligat were onboard the L'Ecume II when it collided.
Mick Michieli (left), Jervis Baligat (centre) and Larry Simyun (right) were onboard the L'Ecume II when it sank following a collision with a Condor Ferries' freighter. Credit: ITV Channel

More than £100,000 has been raised to support the families of Jervis Baligat and Larry Simyun, the crew of a fishing boat which crashed off Jersey's west coast.

The two Filipino crew and skipper Michael 'Mick' Michieli were on board the L'Ecume II when it sank after a collision with a Condor Ferries' freighter.

The fishing boat is believed to have gone down in around 40m of water.

The bodies of two fisherman have been recovered from L’Ecume II and brought back to shore in Jersey.

After a day's pause to refill the search ship with supplies and change crew, the Freja returned to sea at 5:30pm on Saturday 17 December to continue looking for the body of the third fisherman.

Work to access and search the last remaining areas of the fishing boat has now begun.

The L'Ecume II collided with Condor Ferries' freight ship on 8 December Credit: ITV Channel

Larry and Jervis previously spent nine months of the year working with Michael and would send home a substantial portion of their earnings to family in the Philippines.

Rebecca Michieli - Michael's daughter - set up a fundraiser to support the two families.

The initial target set was £3,000, but as of Monday 19 December the figure reached more than £100,700.

In response to islanders' generosity on the fundraising page, Rebecca wrote: "We are utterly gobsmacked by the response so far and would like to thank everyone that has donated.

"Although our original target has been far exceeded we are still asking for people to donate as much or as little as they can.

"The more we can raise the more relief we can give to their families at such a heartbreaking time. We don’t want money to be something they have to be concerned about."

The Commodore Goodwill and the fishing boat collided earlier this month. Credit: ITV CHANNEL

Areas of the deck and aluminium accommodation structure have now been removed from L’Ecume II’s wooden hull, allowing an extensive search below decks and examination of the last remaining areas of the boat.

A spokesperson from Ports of Jersey said: "MV Freja’s final task will then be to complete one last grid search of the seabed around L’Ecume II.

"The Freja will then return to St. Helier to deliver further digital evidence to the investigation team."

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