Search resumes for three fishers off Jersey

The search for three fishers whose boat is believed to have sunk in the Channel after a collision with a freight vessel has resumed off the coast of Jersey.

Lifeboats and a search aircraft were launched at first light to continue to scour the area to the west and north-west of the island.

It is thought that the 18-metre (60ft) wooden fishing boat, L’Ecume II, is resting on the seabed in about 40 metres of water after the collision with a Condor Ferries vessel, the Commodore Goodwill, at 5.30am on Thursday.

The boat was being skippered by Michael “Mick” Michieli, an experienced fisher. It is believed the two crew members are of south-east Asian origin.

An air and sea rescue was organised on Thursday involving Jersey and French aircraft and boats. Around 20 fishing boats also joined the search for their friends and colleagues.

An unmanned underwater craft was brought in to examine what was believed to be the boat’s wreck on the seabed, and lifeguards and police officers also scoured the shoreline in the hope the men had made it to shore.

One of the rescuers Andy Hibbs, the coxswain of the Jersey Lifeboat Association, said Michieli was a good friend and that he had been about to sell his boat to spend more time at home and fish locally.

In a post on the JLA Facebook page, the crew said: “Thank you everyone for your messages of support, we self-launched to look for Mick and the boys along with the other SAR [search and rescue] assets and fishing fleet. Our love and thoughts are with the crew’s families at this time, we are all devastated.”

Commercial shipping has been re-routed to avoid the search area and anyone who finds debris on beaches is being asked to contact the coastguard.

Jersey’s government has asked islanders affected by the incident to contact its “listening lounge” phone line. The chief minister, Kristina Moore, sent her “thoughts and prayers” to the families of the crew.

Comdor said it would cooperate with the investigation into the incident, which took place before daylight in cloudy conditions.

John Napton, the chief executive of Condor Ferries, said: “We can confirm that Commodore Goodwill was involved in a collision with a fishing boat.

“Goodwill was en route from Guernsey to Jersey on her regular sailing when the incident occurred, north-west of Jersey. The master notified the coastguard in Jersey and Goodwill assisted in the search and rescue. Condor has notified authorities and will fully comply with any investigation into the incident.”

Leave a Comment