Volunteers continue search for missing Elsipogtog fisherman

·2 min read

A large-scale search is underway for any evidence of the Tyhawk fishing vessel or its missing captain.

The New Brunswick based boat, owned by the Elsipogtog First Nation, sank off the coast of Cape Breton, N.S. earlier this month.

Now friends and family from Mi'kmaq communities in both provinces are pooling their resources and raising money to try and find the boat's captain, Craig Sock.

Volunteer Starr Paul of the Eskasoni First Nation in N.S., said a search team is in Chéticamp, N.S. scouring the shoreline and the water for any evidence of Sock, who was known as Jumbo.

"We have to help each other, we have to help find and bring Jumbo home," she said. "Because Mi'kmaq people are spiritual people, they have this hope."

Four of the six crew members on the vessel were rescued after it took on water and capsized on April 3. Seth Monahan died and Jumbo was later declared missing and presumed dead.

Jumbo's brother said he drowned saving a crew mate who was trapped in the wheelhouse, by throwing him out the window.

The Coast Guard searched overnight for Jumbo before suspending its efforts, which were hindered by freezing rain. The RCMP then took over as a missing person case.

Craig "Jumbo" Sock is missing at sea and presumed dead after his fishing boat sank on April 3.
Craig "Jumbo" Sock is missing at sea and presumed dead after his fishing boat sank on April 3.(Submitted by Derek Sock)

Jumbo's brother Derek Sock has expressed disappointment with the efforts by RCMP to locate him.

The volunteer search team is working with local ATV groups in Cape Breton, Pictou County and eastern P.E.I. to scan the coast. People are also looking on foot.

The community of Chéticamp is letting searchers use the arena as a base to hold meetings and make plans.

Port Hawkesbury based Celtic Air, has offered to do aerial searches, and drones are also being flown along the coast. The searchers hope to use geo surveying to scan the ocean floor for the wreckage of the Tyhawk as well.

Chief Leroy Denny of Eskasoni First Nation donated $2,500 toward the effort to help cover the cost of gas and other expenses.

Paul said the effort has brought together dozens of people who knew Jumbo from his involvement as a band councilor, fisherman, and for his love of hockey and golf.

"Everybody relied on him and now his family is depending on our people to help," she said.

"A lot of people were so devastated by this happening, people are in shock so that's why everybody is full-fledged, let's do this. Let's bring Jumbo home."

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