L'Ecume II Wreck To Be Raised From Seabed

The wreck of the sunken L'Ecume II fishing trawler is to be raised from the seabed.

The vessel sank off Jersey's west coast on 8 December following a collision with Condor's Goodwill freight ship.

Three crew were onboard the trawler.  

The bodies of Larry Simyunn and Jervis Baligat were recovered following an underwater unmanned underwater robot search of the debris and brought ashore on 14 December.

The operation was called off later that month with skipper Michael (Mick) Michieli still missing.

Police believe bringing the wreck ashore might help in the investigation of what happened.

An expert team has now been enlisted to raise the vessel, but there is an expected wait of up to six weeks until they can come to Jersey.

When they arrive, they will need a five day window of suitable weather and sea conditions.

The logistics of the operation are being worked on with Ports of Jersey.

 Deputy Kirsten Morel

Deputy Chief Minister Kirsten Morel says raising the L’Ecume II will assist with the ongoing probes of what happened, by providing access to potential best available evidence.

"It is important we provide them with the opportunity to find all the evidence they need to get to the truth of what happened, and how it happened, and to try to make sure incidents like this don't happen again in the future.

If the police believe some important evidence could be there, then I believe it is incumbent on us to help them get to that evidence.

It will also be an important thing to do for the bereaved families, and therefore there is a humanitarian aspect to raising the wreck."

The families have welcomed the decision.

The funerals of Jervis Baligat and Larry Simyunn were held on 12 February after being repatriated to their families in the Phillippines.

As well as 'Operation Nectar', the police investigation of the maritime incident, the is a probe led by the Bahamas Maritime Authority with the UK Marine and Coastguard Agency.

"That investigation will give us the lessons that we need to learn about safety at sea. It is from that investigation that we will understand whether anything needs to change on a local level, such as protocols or shipping routes."  -  Deputy Morel.


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