OHS Canada Magazine

Searchers recover body of missing crew member from sunken boat off Halifax

January 30, 2019
By The Canadian Press
Health & Safety nova scotia occupational health and safety Workplace accident -- fatality

HALIFAX – Navy divers recovered the body of a crew member from inside a boat that went down near the mouth of Halifax harbour early Tuesday after reporting a loss of power.

Joint Task Force Atlantic said navy divers found the crew member inside the 12-metre vessel, identified as the service boat Captain Jim.

Two other crew were rescued by a local pilot boat after a distress call came in at about 2:15 a.m., indicating the boat suffered a loss of power and that crew were planning to abandon it.

“The search for the missing crew member is over,” Joint Task Force Atlantic said on its Twitter feed at about 11:30 a.m. “Navy divers have located the body of the crew member inside the sunken vessel.”

Maj. Amber Bineau said Hercules and Cormorant helicopters, along with three coast guard vessels, were involved in the search of the area near Eastern Passage. “The Hercules dropped some flares for visual capability,” she said.


A Canadian Forces fleet diving unit out of nearby Shearwater also went to the scene soon after the initial call came in, returning Tuesday morning when visibility improved.

Bineau said the people on board reported losing power, but offered no other information about the cause or events leading up to the emergency. She said the weather and sea state at the time were considered normal, with low winds.

“About 20 minutes later they indicated they were taking on water and preparing to abandon.”

She said the two people plucked from the water did not have survival suits on, but were wearing flotation devices and were determined to be in good condition after being checked by staff. She said crews got to them within an hour after the last call.

Bineau said the fishing vessel was local and being used in diving operations.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada dispatched a team of investigators to Eastern Passage following the sinking of the Captain Jim, which is reported to be owned by contractor RMI Marine.

Its website says the company in Eastern Passage has been specializing in diving and marine port services for 30 years.

Copyright (c) 2019 The Canadian Press


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