Capsized boat carrying N.S. fishermen reduced to debris: RCMP
Published Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:53PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 21, 2013 11:14PM EST
RCMP say debris is all that’s left of the capsized boat carrying five fishermen who went missing off the coast of Nova Scotia, but a grieving community still hopes to “bring our boys home.”
The capsized Miss Ally had been spotted about 120 kilometres from shore, but another aerial search Thursday found only shattered pieces of the hull.
“A Canadian Armed Forces CC130 SAR Hercules joined aircraft from Transport Canada, and Provincial Airlines to patrol an area more than 1,700 square km with no sighting of the intact capsized hull,” RCMP said in a written statement.
“Instead, small items of debris were spotted within a 5 nautical miles (nm) grouping and concentrated 10 nm east of Miss Ally’s last known position. Initial analysis of the photos taken during the patrol suggests it is likely these items are from the Miss Ally.”
Fed up with waiting for the authorities to recover the vessel, the fishermen’s families had arranged for a private boat with four divers to search the waters off the coast of Woods Harbour, N.S. Other boats had joined the search, despite a forecasted storm.
"Hopefully we can bring 'em home," a tearful Marlene Nickerson, whose son Cole was on the boat, told The Canadian Press. "I won't be pleased until I see him again."
As vessels departed from Woods Harbour to look for the wreckage, friends of the fishermen stood on the dock and yelled out: “Bring our boys home!”
After some confusion, the Canadian military said Thursday that one of its aircraft would head out again to search for the boat in choppy waters off Nova Scotia’s southwest coast.
Earlier in the day, federal officials said it was up to the RCMP to decide what to do because the Mounties took over the case when the search for the men was called off earlier this week.
George Hopkins, whose son Joel was on the fishing boat, named Miss Ally, said he was “elated” that a search was underway.
"At least we're doing something," he said.
The Miss Ally’s crew, five men under the age of 35, was on a halibut fishing trip when the boat flipped over on Sunday in hurricane-strength winds that created 10-metre tall waves.
RCMP said they are concerned about the fishermen and the divers who are going off on their own to search for the bodies. But local residents say they’ve waited long enough for someone else to take action.
With a report from CTV Atlantic and files from The Canadian Press