Wreckage of sunken fishing boat to be brought to surface to help with investigation into the tragedy

Emma Volney reports...

The wreckage of a fishing boat that sunk with three on-board after colliding with a Condor vessel in December is to be brought to the surface.

It is hoped that recovering the debris of L'Ecume II will help the investigation into the tragedy by unearthing new evidence.

The families of those who died have welcomed the decision.

The body of the ship's skipper, Michael 'Mick' Michileli, was never found. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Ports of Jersey will work with a specialist third party operator to organise the recovery.

It is thought they will be ready to start in around six weeks, after which, the operation will depend on favourable weather.

Deputy Chief Minister, Kirsten Morel, says the raising of the wreckage is an "important thing to do for the bereaved families."

He added: "Raising L'Ecume II will assist with the ongoing police investigation by providing access to potential best available evidence."

Three fishermen were aboard L'Ecume II when it collided with the Commodore Goodwill on 8 December 2022.

Two bodies were found during the subsequent search - they were identified as Larry Simyunn and Jervis Baligat, both Filipino crewmen who had been on the vessel.

However, the search and rescue operation was unable to find the boat's skipper, Michael 'Mick' Michileli, and was called off on December 28.

Four police officers from the Metropolitan, West Midlands, Yorkshire and Staffordshire Police forces have been brought in to assist the investigation.

There are currently 12 full time officers working on 380 lines of enquiry, half of which have been completed.

Around 400 documents, 150 items of property and more than 270 pieces of media have been documented, including CCTV footage and photographs.

Senior Investigating Officer, Andrew Shearwood, says: “Good progress continues to be made with the investigation, and our team has been working hard to secure evidence, technical data, CCTV footage, and witness accounts.

“Our investigation team will work closely with Ports of Jersey and Government over the coming weeks to determine how the raising of the wreck will fit into our investigation timeline.”

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