TOFINO, B.C. – The search continues for three missing First Nations fishermen whose boat sank off the coast of Tofino.
While the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre has scaled back its search and handed the case over to Tofino RCMP as a missing persons file, dozens of community members and volunteers continued to comb the shoreline and seas for the men on Sunday.
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation spokesman Connor Paone says are about ten boats were on the water this afternoon, plus an RCMP vessel with a dive team and sonar searching the ocean floor.
An emergency operations centre has been set up on a nearby dock to monitor search progress and the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council is offering mental health support to those in need, Paone said.
“Everyone is coming together to support each other and everyone is being really strong,” he said. “I can’t comment on how the families are doing at this time, but I know they have a lot of support behind them.”
Paone said the First Nation is not releasing the names of the missing because it has not received permission from their families to do so.
There were five people aboard the six-metre tin boat that went down without a mayday call early Friday morning, the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre and RCMP said.
One person was rescued from the water while another swam ashore within the first two hours, they said.
Both have been release from hospital, the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation said.