The search for three fishermen who went missing when their fishing boat sank off the Jersey coast has been called off.
A major search and rescue operation was launched after a ship collided with a fishing vessel around 5.30am on Thursday.
The coastguard has been coordinating a search for the last two days using the RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat, Channel Islands Airsearch, and the Ports of Jersey tug as well as members of the local fishing fleet.
The fishing boat was crewed by a captain, who has been named in reports as Michael “Mick” Michieli, and two other crew members, all of whom are still missing.
On Friday afternoon, the Ports of Jersey announced the search would be called off at sunset.
In a statement, the ports said: “After careful analysis of [Jersey Coastguard’s] findings, the search and rescue phase of the operation will draw to a close today at sunset.
“All possible rescue activities will have been exhausted in an effort to find the three missing fishermen.”
The statement added: “We are aware that this is very difficult for friends and family of the men, and we extend our deepest sympathies to all those affected by this tragic incident.”
L’Ecume II – an 18-metre wooden fishing vessel – sunk five miles west of Jersey after colliding with the freight ship Commodore Goodwill.
The vessel sunk in approximately 40 metres of water, too deep for divers to search without specialist equipment, the Jersey Coastguard said.
Debris from the fishing boat was found in the sea on Thursday.
The port has commissioned a vessel with a “remotely operated underwater craft” to conduct a more detailed search of the collision site with the aim of recovering the boat.