Search launched after 'mysterious disappearance' of boat
A SEARCH operation is under way for a boat which apparently vanished after leaving Jersey overnight.
No details are known about the vessel – or whether it even exists.
However, a transit report was made to Jersey Coastguard, stating that a vessel was due to leave the Island bound for Guernsey at 11pm, arriving at 12.30am.
It is not known whether the boat ever left. No vessel ever arrived in Guernsey.
A 'pan-pan' call [made when there is a developing problem that does not pose a threat to life] was made to Guernsey Coastguard at 4am – but it is not known if it is connected to the vessel which apparently left Jersey.
In a statement, Jersey Coastguard said: 'No-one has been reported missing in either Jersey or Guernsey but Jersey Coastguard is currently appealing to anyone who may have information about a vessel known as Delta Boy or Delta Buoy to contact them urgently on telephone (01534) 447705.'
John Fitzgerald, chief officer of the Channel Islands Air Search, which is involved in the operation, said that details are still unclear.
'We were called [this morning] to reports of a boat that went missing last night. It was due to leave Jersey but we do not even know if it exists at this point,' he said.
'It lodged a vessel transit report [with Jersey authorities] but we do not know if it actually left the Harbour at the moment.
'Guernsey Coastguard received a pan-pan call at 4am but we do not know if they are related. I do not have any details about that – we were not told.'
Mr Fitzgerald added that sea conditions would have been extremely rough during last night.
'We are now searching between Jersey and Guernsey – the box from the south east corner of Guernsey to the north east of Jersey, that 20-mile stretch,' he said.
'Leaving Jersey last night, it would have been fairly horrible. The newspaper boat took four hours to get Guernsey from Jersey last night and it normally takes about an hour.
'You would have to be very prepared and I do not know why they could not wait until daylight if they did go out. I would not expect anybody who is not professional to be going out at that time.'