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Jubilee to be refloated for probe

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/04/2016

A salvage team will attempt to lift the sunken fishing boat Jubilee off the sea floor, five months after it sank off the Canterbury coast with the loss of three lives.

Two vessels, the Island Leader 11 and the MV Korua, will on Saturday try to raise the stricken ship, the Transport Accident Investigation Commission says.

The 90-tonne ship is sitting 45m deep, 22km off the coast and the plan is to use airbags to lift it from the seafloor and then tow it to Lyttelton.

The total operation could take three to five days.

Investigators have seen underwater photos of the ship but they want to examine it closer to try and find out what happened.

"The recovery of the vessel will allow our investigators a better opportunity to examine the entire vessel and some key components in situ," said chief investigator Captain Tim Burfoot.

The three FV Jubilee crew members Jared Reese Husband, 47, Paul Russell Bennett, 35, and Terry Donald Booth, 55, died when the ship sank in October.

Their bodies have been recovered.

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