Aerial search for missing Bay of Fundy fishermen resumes

·2 min read

RCMP Air Services are resuming the aerial search for five missing fishermen from the Chief William Saulis on Monday.

The search will take place about 100 kilometres off the coast from Digby Gut to Harbourville by helicopter, according to a news release.

The scallop vessel sank in the early hours of Dec. 15 off the coast of Delaps Cove.

For 36 hours, crews combed the air, sea and shoreline to try and find the vessel or its members. On the day the Chief William Saulis sent out its emergency beacon, the body of one crew member, Michael Drake, was recovered during the search.

Aaron Cogswell, Leonard Gabriel, Dan Forbes and Eugene Francis, along with captain Charles Roberts, were the other men on the boat.

Brett Ruskin/CBC
Brett Ruskin/CBC

The RCMP has taken over the investigation as a missing persons case, after the Maritime Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) said last week that it is suspending the search.

The Nova Scotia RCMP andthe RCMP Underwater Recovery Team arecurrently in the planning stages of a partnership with the Canadian Coast Guard to provide a platform which will assist in recovery efforts, including sonar exploration.

Police say they will share an expected start date for this when it's known.

The Town of Yarmouth is also setting up a community grief session to help those in the community affected by this incident.

Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood said immediately after the boat went down, family members directly involved were offered one-on-one grief counselling.

She said it has been "tremendously difficult" on family members to find closure since the bodies of five of the six fishermen have not yet been found.

"It's a tragedy that nobody ever wants to have happen," Mood said on Monday. "We're trying to live with it. I've said from day one, there's a time for everything and now is the time for everybody to grieve."

The community grief session will take place on Jan. 7 at 6 p.m.