Body of missing captain recovered from fishing boat near Canso
Published Friday, February 9, 2018 11:07AM AST
Last Updated Friday, February 9, 2018 9:35PM AST
The body of a missing fishing boat captain has been recovered off the northeastern tip of Nova Scotia.
The Fisherman’s Provider IIstruck what is commonly known as Frying Pan Shoal, near Canso, N.S., around 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Three of the four crew members were rescued by another fishing vessel, but officials say the 64-year-old captain insisted on remaining onboard.
A search-and-rescue operation was launched, with a Hercules aircraft and a Canadian Coast Guard vessel searching the area for the captain.
“We have exhausted our ability to ascertain if he is on the vessel,” said Maj. Mark Norris, commanding officer of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, on Thursday. “The conditions preclude us from boarding the vessel safely, and given it's been 48 hours, there's very little chance there will be a positive outcome from this case."
The RCMP say local fishermen recovered Roger Stoddard’s body from the boat around 8:30 a.m. Friday.
“There is no doubt in my mind that boat went through hell. It was beat to pieces,” said Stevie Goreham, one of six fishermen who helped retrieve Stoddard’s body.
Goreham says they used a chainsaw to cut the top deck off the boat and found Stoddard lying in his bunk with his rubber boots on. He says there was debris surrounding the boat and also inside the vessel.
Goreham also says he believes there is room for improvement in terms of how the Coast Guard conducts rescue-and-recovery operations.
“Pretty bad that a fellow fisherman has to orchestrate what happened,” he said. “We aren’t trained for this stuff, but we do what we have to do to bring our boys back.”
Police say an autopsy will be conducted to determine a cause of death.
Fisherman’s Market in Bedford, N.S. owns the Fisherman’s Provider II, which it says was out on a routine trip when it made contact with the rocky shore.
The Transportation Safety Board said investigators are being sent to Canso to look into the incident. The RCMP is also investigating.