AN independent investigation into the sunken L’Ecume II trawler has been launched by the States police to establish any criminal culpability.
Andy Shearwood, a former detective chief inspector with Thames Valley Police, has been appointed as the senior investigating officer for ‘Operation Nectar’ and will work alongside Detective Inspector Christina Maclennan, former head of the Criminal Investigation Department at the States police.
The States police will also be supported by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
The L’Ecume II, skippered by Michael Michieli, sank after colliding with Condor’s Commodore Goodwill freight ship off Jersey’s west coast at about 5.30am on Thursday 8 December.
On Boxing Day, the police confirmed that two bodies recovered from the wreck by an unmanned craft several days after the incident were those of Filipino crewmen Jervis Ramirez Baligat and Larry Simyunn.
However, the search of the trawler has now concluded and the body of Mr Michieli is yet to be found.
Mr Shearwood arrived in Jersey on Wednesday and has 30 years of policing experience.
His qualifications include the Professionalising Investigation Programme which covers homicide and major and organised crime.
In a statement released by the States police, they said that additional resources are currently being sought in order to support the pair in their investigation.
‘This is one of two investigations running concurrently into this incident. A maritime safety investigation is underway to determine the facts and identify lessons to be learnt to prevent future similar incidents. This is being progressed by the Maritime Standards Department within Ports of Jersey, in conjunction with the Bahamas Maritime Authority, as the flag state of the Condor Commodore Goodwill, and the Philippines as an interested party,’ they said.
‘Specially trained officers continue to support those families involved and the government’s Recovery Coordination Group now covers the response to both Operation Spire, which is the Pier Road explosion and Operation Nectar,’ they added.