An inquest has been opened into the death of fishing trawler captain Michael Michieli after his body was recovered from the seabed last week – four-and-a-half months after a collision between his boat and a freight ship.
Following a hearing lasting 17 minutes at Morier House in St Helier this afternoon, Mr Michieli's body was released to his family for cremation, with the inquest adjourned until a later date.
Deputy Viscount Mark Harris told members of Mr Michieli's family who attended the hearing that he was very sorry for their loss, adding that "it may be some time, maybe a very long time, before this inquest concludes".
Pictured: The body recovered from the wreck of the L’Ecume II fishing trawler last week was formally identified as Michael Michieli yesterday.
The hearing was told that inquest will resume after the conclusion of twin investigations into the collision between L'Ecume II and the Commodore Goodwill last year, which resulted in the loss of three lives: Mr Michieli, whose body was recovered from the seabed on 26 April, and Filipino crewmen Jervis Baligat and Larry Simyun, whose bodies were found on 15 December.
Detective Inspector Chris Beechey said that Mr Michieli's body had been identified following the internationally-established Disaster Victim Identification principles.
Advocate Harris said the preliminary cause-of-death was pending and would be determined through the result of histology and toxicology tests.
The L’Ecume II fishing trawler sank on Thursday 8 December following a collision with the Commodore Goodwill freight ship off Jersey’s west coast, triggering an immediate search-and-rescue operation spanning 36 hours.
A follow-on recovery operation using the offshore support vessel MV Freja took place in December.
Two bodies were recovered from the wreck and identified as crewmen Jervis Ramirez Baligat and Larry Simyunn from the Philippines, but the third person on board – skipper Michael ‘Mick’ Michieli – was not found at the time.
In February, it was decided that the vessel should be raised for both "evidential gain and for humanitarian reasons".
The team working on the recovery of the L’Ecume II fishing trawler recovered a body from the wreck on Wednesday 26 April.
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