RCMP divers take over search for teen who fell overboard

·3 min read
Justin Landry, 15, is now considered missing after a search-and-rescue mission was unsuccessful. (Pierrette Landry/Facebook - image credit)
Justin Landry, 15, is now considered missing after a search-and-rescue mission was unsuccessful. (Pierrette Landry/Facebook - image credit)

RCMP divers have begun looking for Justin Landry, the 15-year-old boy who fell out of a fishing boat off Pointe-Sapin on Monday.

On Tuesday afternoon RCMP said Landry is considered a missing person and police are in contact with his family.

The RCMP took over the search after the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax said the rescue mission was unsuccessful Monday evening.

The search was suspended at 8 p.m. Monday, a little under 12 hours after crews first received the mayday call.

The RCMP said Landry was last seen wearing a blue sweater, green rubber pants and green rubber boots.

The search was suspended after planes flying overhead couldn't spot Landry over the course of a 12 hour search on Monday, said Colin Glover, regional supervisor with Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax.

Glover said the teen was not wearing a life jacket.

He said the rescue operation was called off after commanders were confident the crews did all they could.

"The search effort allows us to confidently believe that the initial search area was adequately covered and the missing person would have been found," Glover said.

Alexandre Silberman/CBC
Alexandre Silberman/CBC

Glover said the weather on Monday was clear, and another person on the boat sent out the exact coordinates where Landry went overboard. Crews also had a modelling program that uses wind speeds, currents and other factors to predict how far a person would have drifted. He said that program informed where the planes were searching.

Glover said fishing boats in the surrounding areas started searching as soon after Landry fell overboard, and the first search plane arrived an hour after the mayday call.

"When we suspend the search, we have exhausted all of our resources," Glover said.

Crews started by searching a 20.5 square kilometre area, then expanded it to about 100 square kilometres.

No set end-time for diving team

Cpl. Eric Friel of the RCMP Richibucto detachment said Tuesday divers began working at around noon and were still in the water at 5 p.m. He said there's no set time for ending the search.

"They're going to go as long as they can," Friel said. "He's considered missing at this point until we confirm otherwise."

Friel said they started diving about four kilometres from the wharf, where the teen first went overboard, and have been expanding their search as they continue to come up empty.

Friel said the tight-knit community has rallied around the family.

Alexandre Silberman/CBC
Alexandre Silberman/CBC

A community lunch was held Tuesday at the Pointe-Sapin grocery store to support the family, and about two dozen people were at the wharf Tuesday morning watching RCMP divers put their boat into the water.

"Small communities stick together, so there's a lot of support," Friel said.

Ernest Mazerolle, the president of the Pointe-Sapin wharf, said everyone in the community is "feeling bad" about the missing teen.

"It's sad," he said.

Alexandre Silberman/CBC
Alexandre Silberman/CBC

Mazerolle said more than 20 boats helped search for teen on Monday. He said if Landry isn't found Tuesday, the fishermen will help with the search Wednesday as well.

"We all [want] to have our kid back home."

On Monday, a Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter, two Canadian Coast Guard boats, four conservation boats and one Transport Canada airplane were used in the search.