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Trawler wreck to be raised from the seabed

Trawler wreck to be raised from the seabed

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Trawler wreck to be raised from the seabed

Wednesday 22 February 2023


The wreck of the L'Ecume II trawler - whose collision with a Condor ferry in December led to the loss of three fishermen - is to be raised from the seabed for "evidential gain and for humanitarian reasons".

During a media briefing yesterday to provide an update on three major incidents that recently struck the island, senior civil servant Richard Corrigan said that raising the vessel would allow for a land-based inspection.

He said it would also help to "conclusively" determine whether the body of Michael Michieli was trapped aboard.

The trawler, skippered by Mr Michieli, sank after a collision with Condor’s Commodore Goodwill freight ship off Jersey’s west coast at around 05:30 on Thursday 8 December. 

LecumeII-CREDIT-RobCurrie.jpg

Pictured: The L'Ecume II trawler. (Rob Currie)

The bodies of Filipino crewmen Jervis Ramirez Baligat and Larry Simyunn were later recovered from the wreck – and have since been repatriated and laid to rest – but the body of Mr Michieli was not found.

Mr Corrigan said that the Ports of Jersey will commission specialist contractors to do raise the vessel. 

"It is not something that is within our immediate capabilities within government or within Ports," he explained. "We will need to bring a specialist vessel and crew into the island to deliver this particular aspect of the operation."

Mr Corrigan estimated that it would take "around six weeks" to secure the necessary resources to raise the wreck.

fishermen - Baligat simyunn Michieli

Pictured: Jervis Baligat, Mick Michieli and Larry Simyunn were all aboard the L'Ecume II when it sank.

Deputy Chief Minister Kirsten Morel said: "My thoughts remain with the families of Mick Michieli, Jervis Ramirez Baligat and Larry Simyunn. The bodies of Jervis and Larry, which were brought ashore in December, have been repatriated to their families in the Philippines and they have been laid to rest in their hometowns."

He added: "I would like to thank our External Relations Department, who liaised with both the embassy of the Philippines in London and the British Embassy in Manila for their support in ensuring safe repatriation. I would also like to thank the States of Jersey Police family liaison officers, who remain in regular contact with all the families."

Two separate areas of work into the fatal incident involving the L'Ecume II are still ongoing, including a maritime safety investigation which will determine the facts of the collision and what lessons can be learned, as well as an independent investigation to determine whether any criminal charges should be brought as a result.

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