HALIFAX -- RCMP say the search for the crew of a missing fishing boat is facing more weather-related roadblocks.

On Friday, RCMP said about 20 kilometres of coastline between Hillsburn and Morden, N.S., were searched by helicopter for the Chief William Saulis scallop fishing boat and its crew.

The search did not locate the missing fishermen or boat. The ground search was suspended Friday because of weather concerns.

RCMP say the ground search will remain suspended indefinitely, citing unsafe conditions. 

Police helicopters are expected to continue the air search Sunday, weather permitting.


Searchers found the body of one crew member late Tuesday from the boat that went missing that morning.

Military aircraft and coast guard vessels searched for the boat off the coast of Delaps Cove, N.S., near Annapolis Royal while search and rescue teams scoured the coastline.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax identified the boat as the “Chief William Saulis.” According to a tweet from JRCC Halifax, six people were believed to be onboard the vessel.

A spokesperson for the JRCC says an emergency radio beacon was sent out around 5:50 a.m. Tuesday, adding that two life-rafts and debris were found in the Digby area that morning, but no sign of the fishermen or their boat.

On Tuesday, CTV News confirmed the boat's captain is Charles Burton-Roberts.

From the start of the search, the operation was made challenging by high winds and rough waters.


A GoFundMe account has been made to support the families of the six fishermen.

The organizer, Alain d’Entremont is the president of Full Bay Scallop Association, and knows the missing captain and crew.

D’Entremont says he and his association decided quickly to start fundraising as soon as the men disappeared.

"We started talking immediately about – how do we raise some money for these families?" he said. "Everybody could put themselves in their shoes. Everybody felt for them"

At the time of writing, d’Entremont’s fundraiser has reached over $10,000 – and that amount is quickly going up.

"The calls that came from all over different fishing industries around the world, the calls from the public saying 'how do we get money to these families?' were overwhelming, so we decided to find a mechanism to do that," said d’Entremont.

D’Entremont says his association opened a new Credit Union account to associate with the GoFundMe.

"It’s incredible," said d’Entremont. "The outpouring of support from all across the country has been incredible."

The fundraiser's online description reads in part: "the tragic loss of these men has been a crushing blow to members of the industry and the community at large during an already especially brutal 2020 for Nova Scotia."

D'Entremont says as of Monday, donations will also be possible at any Credit Union branch in Nova Scotia. The name of the account is the "Chief William Saulis Benevolent Fund".


As of Monday, the bank account d’Entremont created will be open for donations at all Nova Scotia Credit Union branches. A previous version of this story indicated that funds would be distributed to the families Monday.