'It just adds to the grief': Southwestern N.S. reeling from more tragedy
SURETTE'S ISLAND, N.S. -- The search for a missing boater in Nova Scotia's Yarmouth County following the discovery of his wife's body, is the third loss-of-life incident to strike southwestern Nova Scotia in less than a month.
A scallop dragger sank in the Bay of Fundy, with the loss of all hands, just before Christmas and a young man disappeared just outside Yarmouth on New Year's Day.
In the latest incident, the 69-year-old Kenneth Surette was last seen travelling in a small boat Sunday morning. The search began Tuesday afternoon, after police received a call that a body was discovered along the shoreline of Morris Island.
Family confirmed it was Kenneth’s wife Noreen.
A canoe belonging to the couple has also been found.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax has suspended its search, but RCMP and search and rescue crews were still on the ground and in the water on Thursday.
"Also involved is the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, who are searching on the waterways, assisting ground search and rescue personal to and from the various islands in that geographical area," said Nova Scotia RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Andrew Joyce.
A command centre has been set up at the local social hall offering food and support.
"In the last week and a half, 10 days, 12 days, you know the municipality is in awe of just saying 'not again," said Municipal Councillor Guy Surette.
"And then, with COVID-19 still here, it just adds to the grief of it all."
This is the second missing person search in the Municipality of Argyle in the past two weeks.
Twenty-one-year-old Zack Lefave was last seen in Plymouth in the early morning hours of New Year's Day. A community search for him continues.
Nearly one month ago, a scallop dragger went down in the Bay of Fundy.
One body was recovered, but five fishermen are still missing.
The mayor of Yarmouth says all of southwestern Nova Scotia is grieving together.
"There’s always a light in the darkness, but right now part of that light is how this community always comes together during the worse of times regardless of how bad it is," said Pam Mood. "And it’s bad."
Back on Surette’s Island, family members continue to hope and pray their loved one is found
"From the bottom of our hearts, we are overwhelmed by the support we have had from the community," said Amy Cottreau, Kenneth Surette's niece.
The search for Kenneth Surette has been challenging due to the high tides and strong currents, but officials hope progress can be made during low tide.