Bodies confirmed as missing fishermen

The three bodies pulled from a Canterbury shipwreck have been confirmed as the missing fishermen from FV Jubilee.

Canterbury police search and rescuers said the men were understood to be on board at the time the ship sank.

The men had been missing since they sent out a distress signal on October 18 after they were caught in a brutal storm.

Fishermen Jared Reese Husband, Paul Russell Bennett and Terry Donald Booth were on board.

Inspector Craig McKay said it was a "exceptional result" to be able to return the missing men to their families.

Members of the navy's operational diving team retrieved the third body - of Mr Husband - today, after finding Mr Booth and Mr Bennett in the wreck on Monday.

"They were shown the utmost respect by everyone involved as they were recovered and transported from the wreck to Akaroa Harbour," Mr McKay said.

"The thoughts and prayers of everyone involved in the SAR operation are with the family, friends, colleagues and communities of the three men."

The deaths have been referred to the coroner.

The navy's acting Maritime Component Commander Martin Walker said the navy expressed "sincere condolences" to the families of the three men.

"On behalf of the Royal New Zealand Navy, I'd like to express my sincere condolences to the families of the three crewmen of FV Jubilee. Our navy has previously assisted in this type of operation here and overseas. We are always ready to help the community in any way we can."

The operational diving team and support vessel HMNZS Manawanui departed Akaroa this morning to head back to the North Island.

Police and Transport Accident Investigation Commission inquiries into the sinking are ongoing.


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