The Coastguard has extended “sympathies to all those affected” by yesterday’s maritime tragedy as it was confirmed that search and rescue activities relating to the collision between a fishing boat and a Condor freight ship would be ending at sunset.
Skippered by Michael Michieli and carrying two more fishermen from the Philippines, L’Ecume II collided with 126m Condor’s Commodore Goodwill freight vessel off St. Ouen’s Bay around 05:30 on Thursday morning.
Extensive searches involving Jersey, Guernsey and French air and sea rescue authorities, as well as the wider fishing community, took place yesterday. They resumed at first light today.
While the wreck has been identified, the three fishermen have not been found.
“All possible rescue activities will have been exhausted in an effort to find the three missing fishermen,” a Ports of Jersey spokesperson said this afternoon.
Pictured: A sonar image of the wreck of the fishing boat, L'Ecume II.
"We are aware that this is very difficult for friends and family of the men, and we extend our deepest sympathies to all those affected by this tragic incident.”
“Ports of Jersey has commissioned a large offshore support vessel with a remotely operated underwater craft which is due to arrive in the island early next week, to conduct a more detailed survey of the collision site. This will inform the recovery phase of the operation.”
They also confirmed that an investigation has been commissioned by the Economic Development Minister, who has responsibility for the Shipping Law. Ports of Jersey are leading the investigation alongside the Police.
“Ports of Jersey can also call on external organisations, like the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, if any extra technical expertise is required,” the spokesperson added.
“A parallel safety-focused investigation is being run by the Flag State for the Commodore Goodwill (Bahamas Maritime Authority) in collaboration with Jersey, as the Coastal State party.”
Condor CEO John Napton commented: "Condor has been notified by the authorities that the search and rescue phase of the operation, following the collision between Commodore Goodwill and the fishing boat yesterday, is to cease at sunset.
"All at Condor are deeply saddened by this latest news and our sympathies are with the families, friends and loved ones of the fishermen at this extremely difficult time."
Pictured: The Commodore Goodwill, which appeared to suffer some damage in the collision, back at the harbour yesterday. (Rob Currie)
He added: "We continue to engage and comply with the authorities in the ongoing investigation into this tragic incident."
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