Quebec provincial police have identified the three people who died after a fishing vessel capsized and sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence near Quebec's Lower North Shore.
Dean Lavallée, 53, Yves Jones, 65, and Damon Etheridge, 36, were all from Blanc-Sablon, Que.
The three men were among six people aboard the 18-metre-long Silver Condor sailing near La Tabatière, Que., early Monday morning. Lavallée owned and operated the Silver Condor.
The crew left Friday to look for redfish and were on their way back when the ship sank, said Blanc-Sablon Mayor Andrew Etheridge, who is a cousin of Damon Etheridge.
"He's just the kind of guy who puts other people before him," Etheridge said of his cousin.
Janice Letemplier, who runs the local radio station in Blanc-Sablon, CFBS, also knew Damon Etheridge. Her husband was related to him and their families would spend a lot of time together, fishing and sledding. She remembers going to the hockey arena to see him play, and says he was a great dad.
"Damon has so many friends, all the guys and the families he gets together with.... He's very popular in the community," she said.
The sinking has been a blow to Blanc Sablon, a municipality with a population of about 1,200.
"Yesterday was very difficult for the entire community because everyone is affected in some way. Loss, either through family or friends or acquaintance, we all know each other.... Around town, people were sombre."
Early morning shipwreck
Lt.-Cmdr. Len Hickey of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax says an Armed Forces rescue helicopter recovered five of those who had been aboard the boat, while the sixth was recovered by a coast guard vessel.
He says the Silver Condor had already sunk by the time rescuers arrived — nearly four hours after a distress signal was received at around 2:30 a.m.
The ship went down about 37 kilometres offshore, according to the coast guard.
The helicopter took five people to a hospital in Corner Brook, N.L. while the coast guard to one person to Port-au-Choix, N.L.
The investigation so far indicates poor weather conditions played a role, the Sûreté du Québec said Tuesday.
A social worker has visited Blanc-Sablon schools to offer support to kids, said Pascal Paradis, a spokesperson for the the local health and social services authority, the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de la Côte-Nord.
Those who feel distressed by the incident can call 811 and press option 2 for psychosocial support. There is also support offered at the CISSS's multiservice centre, through its Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and Info-Social.
"If needed, more resources could be added to support both the public and personnel," said Paradis.