RCMP say a 53-year-old Cape Breton man is dead after he went overboard while setting lobster traps in southwestern Nova Scotia Monday morning.

The Canadian military's Joint Task Force Atlantic says two other fishermen also went overboard and were rescued.

One of the men was flown by Cormorant helicopter to hospital, while the other stayed with his vessel.

The three went overboard about 64 kilometres southwest of Yarmouth, N.S. Two of the men were from one boat while the third man was from a different vessel.

Nova Scotia Labour Minister Kelly Regan is calling it sad news.

"I know I'm joined by many across the province in expressing my heartfelt sympathy to his loved ones," said Regan in a statement.

Members of Joint Task Force Atlantic, the Canadian Coast Guard and a number of fishing vessels responded to the scene.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says a team will investigate the incidents.

Monday marked the start of “Dumping Day” in southern Nova Scotia, where hundreds of fishing boats depart at the same time, usually at 6 a.m., to let out their lobster traps for the year.

Safety is top of mind for fishing communities to start the season. Entire communities come to the wharf to see their loved ones off.

“My oldest son, he's 56, he's got a good crew, but there's always danger, you never know,” said one family member.

In an effort to keep everyone safe, the Canadian Coast Guard watches the waters closely. Two government ships patrol the area and two military rescue aircrafts are on standby.

Acadian Fish Processors owner Richard D’Entremont says despite the risk, communities along the shore rely on the lobster industry.

“The spin-off is unreal,” he said. “All the gear, groceries, fuel, boats, boat builders, mechanics, it's huge. It's everything.”

The southern part of Nova Scotia, Districts 33 and 34, open for lobster fishing on the last Monday in November.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl.