The search for a skipper and two crew lost when their Jersey fishing boat collided with a freight vessel in the Channel on 9 December 2022 and sank as called off after rescuers concluded there was no chance of them still being alive.
An investigation into the cause of the collision is being led by Jersey maritime accident experts with support from the island’s police force.
A support vessel with a remotely controlled underwater craft went to the area to survey the spot where the boat sunk, and she is 40m down on the seabed, to establish the best way of recovering it.
The Jersey coastguard offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the skipper, Michael “Mick” Michieli and the two unnamed crew members, who are from the Philippines.
Ports of Jersey has commissioned a large offshore support vessel with a remotely operated underwater craft which is due to arrive early next week, to conduct a more detailed survey.
An investigation into the collision between the 18m wooden fishing boat L’Ecume II, and the Condor Ferries vessel Commodore Goodwill is being led by Maritime Standards, an arm of Ports of Jersey, with support from the States of Jersey police.
Because Commodore Goodwill is registered in the Bahamas, the Bahamas Maritime Authority will run a safety focused investigation on the incident, which happened at 5.30am on 8 December.
Don Thompson, president of the Jersey Fishermen’s Association, said: “It’s no longer a search for survivors.” He said the reason for the collision remained unknown. “They [the two vessels] would have passed each other hundreds of times in the same area.”
He said debris collected by other fishers suggested the collision was “extremely heavy” and the brunt of the impact was on the part of the boat where the sleeping quarters are sited.
He said the boat was heading out to fishing grounds and it is possible that two crew members were in their bunks and one person on watch.
Photographs by Tony Rive show the damage to the Commodore Goodwill’s hull, the fishing boat in happier times, the St Peter Port relief lifeboat Volunteer Spirit which was involved in the search, and the Offshore Supple vessel Freja which will be involved in the recovery of the fishing vessel.