Three fishermen missing after collision off Jersey coast

Three men are missing after their fishing boat is believed to have sunk off the west coast of Jersey following a collision with a cargo ferry.

The collision between the 18-metre fishing vessel L’Ecume II and the ferry took place at 5.30am at sea off St Oueen’s Bay (8 December 2022). The BBC reports that Condor Ferries has confirmed its vessel, Commodore Goodwill, was involved.

“We can confirm that Commodore Goodwill was involved in a collision with a fishing boat,” says Condor Ferries, CEO, John Napton. “Goodwill was en route from Guernsey to Jersey on her regular sailing when the incident occurred, north-west of Jersey.”

A major search and rescue operation was launched yesterday following the collision. Rescue boats, local fishing boats, a helicopter and two search planes spent most of the day scouring the sea off the west and north-west Jersey coast. 

The moment of the collision was captured on a marine traffic website. The footage clearly shows rescue and other vessels arriving at the scene and taking part on the search.

President of the Jersey Fishermen’s Association Don Thompson said yesterday: “Everything is being done at the moment and there is still hope of finding survivors.

“Fishermen will rally together… It’s good to see the boys all out on the scene. It’s a small community here, it’s a very close knit community… It’s obviously at the moment very worrying but it’s still an ongoing situation, there is still hope.”

The search was suspended overnight and with a Ports of Jersey spokesperson saying search and rescue services ‘will regroup before first light’ to consider how to proceed.

The skipper who is missing has been named by sources on the island as Michael Michieli, an experienced fisherman, but the other two men have not yet been named.

Jersey’s chief minister, Kristina Moore, sent her “thoughts and prayers” to the families of the vessel’s crew on Twitter:

Main image courtesy of Rob Currie.