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Twin tragedies: Blue light officers reflect one year on

Twin tragedies: Blue light officers reflect one year on

Friday 08 December 2023

Twin tragedies: Blue light officers reflect one year on

Friday 08 December 2023

The heads of each of the island's emergency services have shared tributes to those lost in the two major tragedies one year ago.

The sinking of the L'Ecume II trawler and the explosion at Haut du Mont flats occurred within 48 hours of each other last December.

Three fishers – skipper Michael Michieli and crew members Jervis Ramirez Baligat and Larry Simyunn from the Philippines – lost their lives as their vessel sank on Thursday 8 December, while the blast at Pier Road two days later claimed the lives of 10 islanders.

Marking the first anniversaries of the two events, each of the island's blue light service Chief Officers offered their reflections...

Paul Brown, Chief Fire Officer

“A year on from the tragic events of last December my thoughts and those of all the firefighters, emergency planning officers and staff of the States of Jersey Fire and Rescue Service remain with those who were lost, their families and friends and everyone affected.

“We know we can never truly understand the sense of loss they have experienced and we recognise that this anniversary, while important, will be hard for them.

"We will never forget their loved ones.”

Peter Gavey, Chief Ambulance Officer

“As we mark the first anniversaries of the December tragedies, we remember two dates that remain etched in our collective memories, when our island community faced unprecedented disasters.

“My heartfelt gratitude goes out to all our staff and our mutual aid partners for their response.

"As we take time to remember the lives that were tragically taken from us, our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those they lost.”

Robin Smith, Chief of Police

“The two major incidents which occurred within 48 hours of each other last December were as devastating to islanders as they were unprecedented, and they will live long in the memory.

“From answering the first emergency call to the way we continue to handle the investigations into what happened, SoJP officers and staff have never forgotten who they are doing this for – the victims, their families and the many people who lost their homes – and our thoughts are with them at what I know will be a very difficult time.

“A year on, the anniversaries also give us an opportunity to acknowledge and thank all those who responded to the calls for help and who continue to answer that call as part of the ongoing investigation and support work they do for the families involved in the major incidents.

"They’re a credit to the island.”

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