The bodies of two men have been found and recovered from the wreck of the fishing vessel Jubilee, which sank on Sunday morning October 18, 2015 with three crew members on board.
The Royal New Zealand Navy’s diving support vessel, the HMNZS MANAWANUI, returned to Akaroa late last night after a day spent searching part of the wreck of the FV Jubilee.
“Members of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Operational Diving Team (ODT) entered the wreck yesterday and recovered the bodies of two men. Formal identification has yet to be completed but Police believe that they are those of two of the crewmen understood to have been on board at the time the FV Jubilee sank. Police will not speculate on the specific identities of the men recovered by the ODT yesterday,” Sergeant Phil Simmonds said.
Members of the diving support vessel HMNZS MANAWANUI performed a ‘Piping of the Side’ as a mark of respect when the men were recovered.
The wreck of the FV Jubilee is located in 40m of water. Royal New Zealand Navy’s Operational Diving Team (ODT) had to complete a number of build-up dives, during the weekend, before attempting to enter the wreck of the FV Jubilee.
According to Sergeant Simmonds, the ODT could only conduct a fixed number of dives yesterday. No diving will take place today, due to the bad weather, however, the intention is for the HMNZS MANAWANUI to return to site tomorrow to complete the search of the wreck of the FV Jubilee.
The Police informed that the investigation is ongoing and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) is continuing their inquiries into the sinking of the FV Jubilee.
Image: New Zealand Defence Force/Rod Mackenzie