Two bodies found after fishing boat collision in Channel off Jersey

It is not yet known which of the three fishers onboard have been recovered or exactly where their bodies were discovered

The bodies of two fishers have been found near a boat that sank in the Channel off Jersey after colliding with a freight vessel.

Skipper Michael “Mick” Michieli and crewmen Larry Simyunn and Jervis Baligat were onboard L’Ecume II when it collided with the Condor Ferries vessel, the Commodore Goodwill, on Thursday.

It is not known which of the three men have been found or exactly where their bodies were discovered.

Michael ‘Mick’ Michieli, skipper of the fishing boat L’Ecume II.
Michael ‘Mick’ Michieli, skipper of the fishing boat L’Ecume II. Photograph: Family handout

In a statement on Tuesday, the States of Jersey police said: “Two bodies have been located in the area of L’Ecume II.

“The search and recovery operation is ongoing and will continue while the weather permits. Family members continue to be supported by specially trained police family liaison officers.”

The 18-metre (60ft) wooden fishing trawler collided with the Commodore Goodwill at about 5:30am on Thursday and sank in about 40 metres of water.

A large offshore support vessel, Freja, equipped with a remotely operated underwater craft is surveying the site.

A fundraiser set up by Rebecca Michieli, the skipper’s daughter, to support the families of his crew has already raised more than £80,000.

She said the boat had headed out in “perfect fishing conditions”, adding: “They were on a straight course, one they have done many times before, but at about 5:30am the Commodore Goodwill struck them, almost instantly sinking them.

“We know now that there is no hope of them coming home alive, but we continue to search for them all, to bring them home to rest.”

Of the crew members, she said: “Larry and Jervis would spend nine months at a time working with my dad and sending home a good portion of the money they made to their families back home in the Philippines.

Larry Simyunn and Jervis Baligat
Larry Simyunn and Jervis Baligat. Photograph: Family Handout/Ports of Jersey/PA

“Jervis had just been home for three months and was back for another nine months as he was so fond of my dad and the work he was doing.

“My family would like to do as much as we can for Larry and Jervis, we know money will never bring them back but we can at least take some of the stress away and allow [their families] time to grieve without the burden of financial troubles.”

An investigation into the collision between L’Ecume II and the Commodore Goodwill is being led by Maritime Standards, an arm of Ports of Jersey, with support from the States of Jersey police.

Because the Commodore Goodwill is registered in the Bahamas, the Bahamas Maritime Authority will run a safety focused investigation on the incident.


Steven Morris

The GuardianTramp

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