Operation to raise sunken Jersey fishing boat comes to an end

The specialist teams and recovery vessels that arrived in Jersey last month have now departed. Credit: Government of Jersey

Work to raise the wreckage of the sunken fishing boat, L'Ecume II, has been called off.

Officials say there is nothing more to do at the site off Jersey's west coast after the body of skipper Mick Michieli was recovered earlier this week and parts of the vessel have been brought back to land.

The fishing boat sank after a collision with the freight ship, the Commodore Goodwill, on the morning of Thursday 8 December 2022.

Skipper Michael Michieli (left) and his crew Jervis Baligat (middle) and Larry Simyunn (right) were on board the L'Ecume II when it sank. Credit: Ports of Jersey

Three crew members were on board at the time, with the bodies of Larry Simyunn and Jervis Baligat discovered the week after the disaster.

With the recovery operation's main objectives now complete, the maritime exclusion zone that was in place around the wreckage has been lifted.

The specialist teams and recovery vessels that arrived in Jersey last month have now departed.

Deputy Chief Minister Kirsten Morel, who oversaw the recovery operation, said its main objective was to find and recover Mr Michieli:

“Following yesterday’s formal identification of Mr Michieli, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the Michieli family at this very difficult time.

"My thoughts remain with the Michieli family, the many friends of Mr Michieli, and our close-knit fishing community."

A one thousand metre exclusion zone, pictured in red, was set up off Jersey's northwest coast. It has now been lifted. Credit: Jersey Coastguard

Deputy Morel praised the rescue teams, who "successfully completed what they set out to achieve" despite significant weather challenges:

“As the operation comes to an end, I would like to thank them for their hard work and resilience during what has been a complex and sensitive operation to complete.”

A post-recovery site survey has been completed to ensure there are no hazards to navigation at the site.

The wreck of L’Ecume II is now in the possession of the States of Jersey Police and will form part of the ongoing police investigation.

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