Debris from missing N.S. scallop dragger may have been spotted during aerial search

·2 min read

The RCMP may have discovered debris from the missing scallop dragger Chief William Saulis, but it's too early to say with certainty.

The debris was located during an aerial search on Monday after the search had been paused for the holiday weekend.

The team searched about 100 kilometres of coastline from Digby Gut, N.S., to Harbourville, N.S., by helicopter, according to a news release.

The vessel with six men aboard has not been seen or heard from since it sent out its emergency beacon near Delaps Cove shortly before 6 a.m. on Dec. 15. One body was recovered.

Debris 'consistent' with missing boat

Tuesday's release describes the debris as "consistent with a small section of the upper portion of the Chief William Saulis," but that nothing has been confirmed.

"It just seems to be consistent with the debris we've located so far ... this here fits the aging, weathering, those kind of factors," said RCMP Sgt. Andrew Joyce.

Facebook/CBC
Facebook/CBC

He did not say where the debris was located.

Police are working with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to determine whether the debris is from the vessel.

TSB has been inspecting debris found since the search started two weeks ago, but has not yet inspected the debris found on Monday, said Pierre Murray, marine operations manager for TSB in the Atlantic region.

"When we go into an investigation like this, we want to find out anything that could lead us to understand what happened and why," he said.

Murray said the investigation could take anywhere from a day to a month, depending on the condition the debris is in and whether it needs to be sent to a lab for analysis.

Brett Ruskin/CBC
Brett Ruskin/CBC

The aerial search is expected to resume on Wednesday. No helicopter was available Tuesday.

The body of crew member Michael Drake of Newfoundland was recovered shortly after the vessel went missing.

The remaining five crew members, Aaron Cogswell, Leonard Gabriel, Dan Forbes, Eugene Francis and Charles Roberts, the captain of the vessel, have not been found.

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