Six Missing After Scallop Boat Sinks Off Nova Scotia

fishing loss
Search plane over the Bay of Fundy, December 15 (CCGS)

Published Dec 16, 2020 2:13 PM by The Maritime Executive

A scallop boat and her six crewmembers have gone missing in the Bay of Fundy, off southwest Nova Scotia. 

The 50-foot scallop dredger Chief William Saulis sent an EPIRB alert Tuesday morning at about 0600 hours, according to the Canadian Coast Guard. Responders found debris in the water off the town of Delaps Cove at about 0820, and two empty life rafts were located on the shoreline later that morning.

The vessel was under way on a transit voyage to the port of Digby at the time of the casualty. Surface conditions were poor, with swells of at least six feet, whitecaps and winds of 30 knots, and foul weather has hampered the search effort.

One crewmember was found dead on Tuesday evening. The search for the remaining five fishermen continues. Assets on scene include the cutter CCGS Sir William Alexander, a C-130 search plane, a Cormorant SAR helicopter and a CP-140 Aurora patrol aircraft with FLIR sensor capability. 

Nova Scotia's Coldwater Lobster Association identified the vessel's crewmembers as Captain Charles Robert; Aaron Cogswell; Michael Drake; Dan Forbes; Geno Francis; and Leonard Gabriel. The identity of the deceased crewmember has not been released. 

"We are a community of fishermen, so it's sad to see this," local boat owner Phil Carty told CBC. "But on the same note, we take a chance every trip, regardless of the conditions."