Sonar search puts end to search for bodies of Miss Ally fishermen
Published Sunday, February 24, 2013 12:28PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, February 24, 2013 1:38PM EST
A small fishing community in southwest Nova Scotia is mourning the loss of five young fishermen as an extensive search for their bodies comes to an end.
The RCMP said Sunday that it failed to locate the men during a search of over-turned hull of the boat, named Miss Ally, which capsized during a storm one week ago.
Authorities sent a remotely operated underwater vehicle from HMCS Glace Bay to capture photos of the 13-metre boat, which was found about 240 kilometres southeast of Halifax on Saturday. A dive team also searched the vessel Saturday with no success.
The Department of National Defence said the Miss Ally sustained substantial damage, as the wheelhouse and sleeping quarters were not attached to the vessel.
“The ROV captured imagery of the over-turned vessel to allow the Fleet Diving Unit to assess the situation. Upon reviewing the images the unit recommended that additional diving operations were not required,” DND said in a statement.
The DND also confirmed that no bodies were found in or around the Miss Ally.
Following an exhaustive rescue operation, the RCMP said it will wrap up its air, water and ground search activities today.
“On behalf of the RCMP, Department of National Defence and the Coast Guard we would like to express our sincerest condolences to the families," RCMP Superintendent Sylvie Bourassa-Muise said in a statement.
In Woods Harbor, N.S., where four of the five fishermen lived, about 500 people gathered a church on Sunday to grieve the loss of the fishermen.
The fishermen lost at sea were Joel Hopkins, Katlin Nickerson, Billy Jack Hatfield, Steven (Cole) Nickerson and Tyson Townsend.
Their fishing boat got caught up in rough waves during an extended weekend fishing trip to catch halibut.
With files from The Canadian Press