Search continues for captain of missing fishing boat

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The search continues off southern Nova Scotia to locate the 52-year-old fisherman who disappeared from his boat off Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The search from the air was hampered by fog late Thursday, but overnight conditions improved.

“The search continued overnight with a number of Canadian Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and other civilian vessels participating in the search,” said Lt-Cmdr. Brian Owens of the Joint Rescue Coordination Center, which oversees the search.

“Overnight the weather cleared up to the point where we were able to fly a Cormorant helicopter again and they searched overnight until this morning.”

Owens says a Hercules plane from CFB Greenwood will join the search on Friday morning. The sea state in the search area is relatively calm and the water temperature is in the mid-teens Celsius.

A Cormorant helicopter, seen here in a file photo, assisted in the search for a missing fisherman off Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. (Brett Ruskin / CBC)

The missing man is the captain of a fishing boat identified as Miss Janet, which was traveling from Shelburne to Saulnierville.

The man’s identity has not been released at the request of his family.

He was one of the four crew members on the boat. Three of the men had fallen asleep on Wednesday evening, leaving the captain in the wheelhouse. But when a member of the crew woke up at 3:30 a.m., the captain was gone and a distress call was made immediately.

The Sipekne’katik First Nation Band Office has confirmed that the missing man is a member of the community. Several fishermen from Sipekne’katik were on the water to help with the search Thursday.

“We are focused on supporting our community right now,” Chief Mike Sack said in a statement to CBC News.

The Coldwater Lobster Association, which represents fishermen in the area, said several of its members are also helping to find the missing man.

At Province House on Friday, MPs from all three parties expressed their support for the people of Sipekne’katik.

“It is a sad day for all fishermen and Nova Scotians to hear news like this,” Fisheries Minister Steve Craig said. “I am sure all members of this house join me in extending to the members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation community our warmest wishes of support at this time.


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