Bahamas Maritime Authority to investigate how Jersey fishing boat collision happened
Part of the investigation into a collision between a freight ship and a fishing boat off Jersey's coast will now be carried out by the Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA).
The Commodore Goodwill and the L'Ecume II collided off the island's north-west coast in the early hours of Thursday 8 December.
Skipper Michael Michieli and crew members Jervis Baligat and Larry Simyunn, from the Philippines, died in the tragedy.
While Jersey's police force will investigate whether there is any criminal culpability, the BMA will carry out the maritime side of the investigation, to find out how the collision happened.
This is because the vessels of Condor's fleet are all registered in the Bahamas.
Meanwhile, the maritime exclusion zone around the location of the L'Ecume wreckage has been reduced to 250 metres in all directions, from the previous 750 metres.
This means the passing of any unauthorised vessels, diving, fishing, laying of static gear and trawling activity within the reduced exclusion zone is prohibited.
The decision authorises the Harbour Master to vary the radius of the exclusion zone to facilitate any legitimate salvage operation and to remove the maritime exclusion zone once the Harbour Master is satisfied that an exclusion zone is no longer required, having given the Minister for Economic Development prior written notice.
A month on since the tragedy, Jersey's government has once again thanked those who helped with the search and recovery operations, and paid tribute to those who lost their lives.
The Minister for Economic Development, Deputy Kirsten Morel, said: "My thoughts remain with the families and friends of Mick Michieli and his crew, Jervis Ramirez Baligat and Larry Simyunn.
"Our island’s spirit was demonstrated in the hours and days that followed this tragic event, as the whole community came together to help both with search and rescue and to provide support to the families.
"Government will continue to offer support to all those people who have been affected, as well as to the investigators so that they can complete their work which, in due course, will enable us to understand how this tragedy occurred and to learn from this incident so that all seafarers will be safer at sea in the future."
The bodies of Larry Simyunn and Jervis Baligat were recovered from L’Ecume II and brought back to shore in Jersey on Wednesday 14 December. The skipper of the vessel, Michael Michieli, is still missing.
The inquests into the deaths of Larry Simyunn and Jervis Baligat opened on Friday 6 January.