OHS Canada Magazine

One fisherman dead, one found alive after N.L. fishing vessel goes missing

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July 30, 2020
By The Canadian Press

Transportation fatality fishing newfoundland

Incident took place 13 kilometres west of Sally's Cove

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A 49-year-old fisherman was found dead Wednesday after his fishing boat failed to return to a community on Newfoundland’s west coast.

A 27-year-old man also aboard the vessel was found alive Wednesday morning in the water about 13 kilometres west of Sally’s Cove, N.L., where the two fishermen had departed early Tuesday, the Canadian Coast Guard said.

The two men were aboard a six-metre open boat that was due back at Sally’s Cove, near Gros Morne National Park, by 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Local search and rescue teams combed the waters for the men after they went missing, while Coast Guard vessels, a Cormorant helicopter and a Hercules aircraft joined the search Tuesday evening, with efforts continuing through the night.

The missing vessel had not been found as of Wednesday afternoon, said Martin Hurley, acting regional supervisor at the Maritime rescue sub-centre in St. John’s.


Tangled fishing gear

Hurley said the Coast Guard found a fishing box early Wednesday morning bearing the name of the fisherman who owned the boat. Hours later, a local fisherman reported seeing tangled fishing gear on the water.

The Coast Guard vessel found the survivor when approaching the scene of the tangled gear, at approximately 10:30 a.m. The other man’s body was found shortly afterwards.

Hurley said reports indicate the boat may have taken on water early Tuesday afternoon. “The winds around lunchtime came up a little bit … so that probably would have made the sea conditions a little choppy there,” Hurley said in an interview.

The cause of the incident has not been confirmed.

The 27-year-old man was in “good condition” Wednesday, Hurley said, noting that the man walked from the rescue vessel to the ambulance after a “remarkable” survival on the water overnight.


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