Divers Set to Recover FV Jubilee Crew

Navy diver ADR Luke Gordon from the Royal New Zealand Navy's Operational Diving Team dives into the water in Akaroa Harbour from diving support vessel HMNZS MANAWANUI during training in preparation for the multi-agency search and recovery operation for sunken fishing trawler FV JUBILEE.

The Canterbury Police SAR recovery phase for the fishing vessel Jubilee continues with members of the NZ Police Dive Squad joining the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Operational Diving Team (ODT) on board the HMNZS MANAWANUI today.

The three crew have been missing since the FV Jubilee was lost on Sunday morning October 18, 2015.

The police said it understands that the three crew believed to have been on board the FV Jubilee on that Sunday morning were 47 year old Jared Reese Husband, 35 year old Paul Russell Bennett and 55 year old Terry Donald Booth.

The diving support vessel HMNZS MANAWANUI arrived in Akaroa early on Saturday morning to support the SAR ops. Canterbury Police SAR has on the same day deployed an ROV to identify the item of interest located near the last known position of the FV Jubilee off the Canterbury coast.

“The team saw, what is believed to be, one deceased inside the FV Jubilee during the ROV survey. The person seen on the ROV footage has not yet been recovered or identified and Police will not speculate on which of the three crew it may be,” Sergeant Phil Simmonds said on Saturday.

The wreck of the FV Jubilee is located in 40m of water. Royal New Zealand Navy’s Operational Diving Team had to complete a number of build-up dives before attempting to enter the wreck of the FV Jubilee.

Sergeant Phil Simmonds says the ODT completed their build-up dives on Sunday, October 25.

“The diving support vessel HMNZS MANAWANUI left Akaroa for the wreck of the FV Jubilee this morning with 24 crew, nine ODT members and two members of the NZ Police Dive Squad on board.”

“The intention is for members of the ODT to conduct a search inside the wreck, which is located at a depth of around 40m, and recover what is believed to be the body of a man seen during yesterday’s underwater search.”

In a press statement released today, the police said that due to the remote location of the dive site, an update on today’s search will be made at around 9:30 am tomorrow morning.

Image: New Zealand Defence Force/Rod Mackenzie

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