Island remembers fishermen lost at sea

A man on the left puts his arm over the woman next to him as she looks upset and holds the hand of a younger woman to her right and another young people on the right hand side of the woman brushes back a tear
The family of Micheal Michieli, who died at sea in 2022, attended the service [BBC]

Jersey joined the rest of the British Isles in marking the first National Fishing Day of Remembrance.

Dozens of people attended a service at Albert Pier on Sunday.

A poem, a prayer and a song were all read out and performed and the names of those who had lost their lives at sea in recent times were read out.

The family of Micheal Michieli, the skipper of L'Ecume II which sank in December 2022, also laid flowers.

‘Solemn affair’

The president of the Jersey Fishermen’s Association, Don Thompson helped organise the service on the island.

He said it was a “solemn affair” and they had to “recognise the importance of fishermen that have been lost”.

Mr Thompson read out the names of 19 fishermen who had died at sea in recent times.

He added putting that list together was “something of a shock” because they had died “within my generation and within the generation of those that were with us today”.

Don looks at the camera as people stand behind him after the service had ended
Don Thompson said it was important to remember the people behind the names that he read out [BBC]

The environment minister, Deputy Steve Luce opened the service and thanked the dozens of people who attended.

Deputy Luce said the service was “really important” and that it seemed “staggering that so many have lost their lives within a generation”.

He added that there are “11,000 people involved in the national fishing industry” and they go out “in storms and tempests to provide us with fish and seafood”.

Deputy Luce also said that he believed the service would be “on again next year in Jersey and we will be back here again doing exactly the same thing”.

Deputy Luce delivers a speech as he holds some paper in front of him and behind is the St Helier Marina
The environment minister gave a speech before the service began on Albert Pier [BBC]

The Fishermen’s Mission joined forces with other maritime charities to organise the national day of remembrance.

Speaking to BBC Jersey, Hayley Hamlett from the charity said members of Jersey's fishing community “pulled out all the stops” to support the island's service.

She added when she first came to Jersey, the loss of the crew of L'Ecume II was “very raw” and there was “a huge need” to remember them and also “bear in mind the larger loss in the fishing community too”.

A boquet of flowers is on the ground of the pier with a card placed inside
The flowers laid by the family of Micheal Michieli [BBC]

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